4 Nov 2003

Regional strategy for breadfruit being worked on

4:35 pm on 4 November 2003

A regional strategy is being worked on to ensure the survival of breadfruit, a staple food for many Pacific Island countries.

Diane Ragone, the director of the Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii, says there's been a decline of the crop in some areas due to hurricanes and salt water killing off trees.

She says a draft strategy has been put together with a focus in particular areas.

"'We want to make sure we are not spreading pest and disease through the region, assess diversity and make sure that each country has all of their varieties identified and possibly an in-country planting or collection of those - the cultural knowledge about breadfruits such as husbandry practices and traditional uses."

Ms Ragone says the regional strategy on breadfruit should be finalised next year.