BREADFRUIT IMPROVEMENT ACTIVITIES IN KIRIBATI
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis and A. mariannensis) is considered the most important staple crop in Kiribati, as a source of carbohydrates and other nutritional benefits. Non-food uses include medicine, firewood, timber for house and canoe construction, organic composting and livestock fodder. Breadfruit production is affected adversely by environmental and pest and disease problems. Fruit rots reduced yields on Bukiraro by 70% in 2000. Consumption, especially among I-Kiribati youth, has decreased, primarily due to modern lifestyle changes. The Agriculture Division, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Developments production activities and programmes have significantly contributed to improving breadfruit production, management, diversity and conservation. The Divisions promotion of pruning methods resulted in the adoption of this method by about 40% of Kiribati breadfruit tree growers, improving disease and pest control, and increasing harvests. New breadfruit cultivars that perform and produce well under atoll conditions have been introduced into Kiribati, with the potential to create year-round fruiting. This paper describes the Divisions programmes, outcomes and recommendations for additional needs to continue improving the status of breadfruit in Kiribati.
Redfern, T. (2007). BREADFRUIT IMPROVEMENT ACTIVITIES IN KIRIBATI. Acta Hortic. 757, 93-100
Artocarpus altilis, Artocarpus mariannensis, food security, plant genetic resources, pruning