Foreign insects cause plague on Cuban Malanga crops

January 19, 2015 5:17 am 

HAVANA, Jan. 18 — Cuban scientists found that the country's farms of Malanga, a brown and edible tuber widely cultivated in tropical regions, were suffering a devastating plague called Tarophagus colocasiae, local media reported on Saturday.

Sergio Rodriguez Morales, director of the National Research Institute on Tropical Crops, said that experts have been examining the Malanga fields in the southern province of Cienfuegos, and found that an insect of the family Delphacidae originated from South Asia and the Pacific invaded and devastated the Malanga crops.

Now experts are undertaking scientific experiments to find means of controlling the insects, said Morales.

Tarophagus colocasiae is considered as one of the major plagues to tuber crops.

According to the National Statistic Bureau, Cuba harvested 1.75 million tons of eatable tubers in 2013, including Malanga, Yuca, and Batatas. Among them, Malanga is the most demanded tuber and widely used in the country's traditional food. (PNA/Xinhua)



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