10. Survey of taro varieties and their use in selected areas of Cambodia
Pheng Buntha, Khieu Borin, T R Preston* and B Ogle**
*Finca Ecológica, TOSOLY, Socorro Colombia
**SwedishUniversity of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition & Management,
PO Box7024, 75007,Uppsala, Sweden
Abstract: A survey was carried out in two provinces of Pursat and Takeo, representing two of the major Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZs) in Cambodia. Fifty four families from six villages were interviewed. Two varieties of taro, Chouk and Sla, are commonly cultivated and Trav Prey (wild taro) also grows naturally in Pursat and Takeo. Chouk and Sla taro are fast growing, varieties and can be harvested 5-8 months after planting.
Taro is considered to be a good vegetable crop and is planted near the houses in the two selected provinces in the late dry season and early rainy season, between April and July. The tubers are used for human consumption while stems and leaves are not widely used for animal feeding. The main reasons for not using them are the itching they cause, and lack of tradition and knowledge. The average tuber yield is 4.5-6 tons ha-1, while the average yield of petiole and leaf is 5-8.5 tons ha-1.
Farmers considered stems to be worst with regard to causing itching, followed by leaves and then root. However the effect can be reduced by boiling, frying, ensiling and sun drying. Both salt and sugar palm syrup can be used for ensiling.