In December 2019, a workshop on Breadfruit Awareness was held for famers on Mauke, Cook Islands. During the workshop there was a demonstration of root propagation, showing the community how to propagate and grow breadfruit trees.
Breadfruit plant, known as Kuru in the Cook Islands has grown naturally and been consumed for generations.
The workshop was made possible through the Farmer Organisations for Africa Caribbean and the Pacific (FO4ACP) Programme facilitated by Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON), which is expected to directly benefit 150 000 farmers in the Pacific region.
Chief Uri Mataiapo, Daniel Mataroa explained that it took just six months for the kuru shoots to be transferred into bigger bags.
The shoots, now just over a year old, should be ready to be transferred into the ground.
‘The proud Agriculture Officer from Mauke was all dressed up to show us the results, collectively they were pleased that the variety that was grown was our own local Kuru Taiti’ commented Chief Uri Mataiapo, Daniel Mataroa.
There are plans to propagate more kuru trees with two thousand tissue cultured plantlets that are currently on order with the SPC in Fiji.
In other exciting news from Atui in the Cook Islands, a team has established a small scale mill for drying and milling breadfruit for further processing into flour.
While there’s still more work to be done on fine tuning the process, Daniel and his Cook Island kuru ohanas are finding and investigating ways to integrate age-old methods with modern technology to produce world-class products.
Stay tuned, we will update you as the Cook Islands Kuru project grows bigger and better.