Substantiation of Australia’s Requirement for Devitalisation of Taro Imports

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Biosecurity Australia has proposed that fresh taro corms be permitted into Australia subject to specific
pest risk management measures. For taro corms from Fiji, two pests are of concern: Tarophagus proserpina and Taro vein chlorosis rhabdovirus (TaVCV). The proposed quarantine treatments for these include “removing all petiole material and apical growing points from the corms of large corm taro (Colocasia esculenta var. esculenta)”. Taro corms are “topped” to remove leaf petioles and growing points and scraped to remove dormant buds. The treatment of corms in this way seriously reduces shelf life. Because of this, growers in Fiji have requested information on the distribution of the pests of quarantine concern to Australia.

Key words: taro, Tarophagus, Dasheen mosaic virus, devitalisation

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