Other name Taro and aravi
(colocasia is an egyptian word)
Family :- Araceae
Colocasia (Colocasia esculentus) or taro is most
important and one of the oldest crops.
Two types of colocasia – eddoe (C. esculentus var. antiquorum)
( C. esculentus var. esculenta) are commonly cultivated throughout
The eddoe type is commonly called arvi and dasheen as bunda.
Africa ranks first in area and production of colocasia followed by Asia.
Colocasia tubers are rich in starch and leaves and petioles are used as
It contains more nutrients and minerals than other vegetables.
Climate and Soil
Climate- Colocasia requires moist.
Conditions. In natural habitat, it is
commonly found near water sources.
This crop can grow on hills if frost free
conditions remain during growth season.
Soil – Well drained and fertile sandy
loam soil is ideally suited for its
cultivation. It also comes up well in
fertile loamy to clay soil. It can stand
well in heavy soils and withstand
waterlogged conditions. The pH of 5.5-
7.0 is ideal.
Colocasia has a wide variability and a large number of local
cultivars are grown in different parts of India.
Satamukhi, Sree Rashmi and Sree Pallavi are improved
Varieties for :-
East India – White gauriya, Kakakachu, NDC 1, NDC 2, NDC
3, Kadma, Nadia Local, Jhankhri and White Gauriya.
West India – Satamukhi and Saharshamukhi
South India – Sree Rashmi, Sree Pallavi and C16
Colocasia is propagated
vagetatively mostly by small
cormels weighing 20-25g.
Healthy, disease and injury
free and of uniform sized
planting material should be
selected and stored in a cool
place at least for 3 months
One tonne planting material
is enough for a hectare crop.
Planting is done by two methods
a) On ridges
b) Flat bed method
Planting of cormels should be done at 45cm spacing on ridges
made at 60cm apart.
Flat bed method can also adopted under upland conditions having
good drainage. Planting in small pits is good in flat bed
Planting time :-
Rainy season is ideal time for planting whereas, Feb- Mar is
for irrigated areas.
Planting time state wise:-
Bihar and E. U.P: - June and February
Kerala: – April- June
Andhra Pradesh : - February
Tamil Nadu : - May
Assam : - April
Manuring and Fertilization
A basal dose of @ 10-15t/ha of well decomposed FYM
be mixed with soil 2-3 weeks before planting. The
application of 80:60:80kg/ha of N:P:K is economical
dose for most of the part of India.
Half dose of N and K, and full dose of P should be given
at the time of planting, while the remaining half dose of N
and K should be applied in 2 splits doses,1st
7-10 days after sprouting and 2nd a month later.
Earthing should be given after each dressing.
It is it is essential to keep the field weed free.
Hand weeding should be done along with earthing up.
Generally two earthing up operations are required, first 7-8
days after sprouting and second a month later.
Desuckering is done at the time of second
earthing up. Only 3 suckers/plant
should be retained
Irrigation throughout the season increase yield.
About 5-8 irrigations are required for maximum yield
of cormels under summer conditions.
The kharif crop is grown under rain fed conditions,
but protective irrigation should be given as the rainfall
is not regular.
The crop matures in 120-150 days after planting. This
is indicated by drying up of leaves. Harvesting is
done by digging out the corms and cormels.
The mother corms and cormels are separated after
It yields 30-40t/ha depending on the type of variety.
Dasheen type has more yield potential
than eddoe type
Care should be taken during harvesting. The damaged
tubers should be separated from marketing lot and
consumed within 2-3 days.
Selected tubers should be spread on the ground.
Tubers should not be packed in air tight containers.
Packing in jute bags or basket
prevents rotting during storage.
Aphids and worms are pest attacking leaves.
Spray Quinalphos or Dimethoate 0.05%.
Mealy bugs and scale insects damage
cormels and corms.
Select cormels free of these pests for planting.
The seed cormels should be dipped
In Dimethoate 0.05% solution
for 10 minutes.
Leaf blight (Phytophthora colocasiae)
Oval or irregular purplish
or brownish necrotic
lesions with watersoaked
periphery appear on leaves.
In severe cases, the entire
leaf lamina and the petioles
are affected giving a
blighted appearance and
collapse of the plant.
Heavy incidence causes up
to 50 per cent crop loss.
Use of field resistant
varieties viz., Muktakeshi
and Jankhri, early planting
to avoid heavy monsoon
Use of healthy planting
materials, removal of self-
grown colocasia plants.
Spray with fungicides viz.,
Mancozeb (0.2%) or
Ridomil MZ 72 @ 2 g/l of
water and treating the seed
tubers with biocontrol
agents viz., Trichoderma
The Alomae/Bobone Virus Disease Complex
The alomae virus disease is caused by a complex of two or more viruses acting together.
The two viruses that are definitely involved are the taro large bacilliform virus (TLBV) which
is transmitted by the plant hopper Tarophagus proserpina, and the taro small bacilliform virus
(TSBV) which is transmitted by the mealybug Planococus citri(Rodoni 1995).
Neither virus is transmissible by mechanical contact, and their host range seems limited to
Alomae first starts as a feathery mosaic on the leaves. The entire plant is stunted and
The symptoms of bobone are similar, but the leaves are more stunted and the lamina is curled
up and twisted. With bobone, complete death of the entire plant does not usually occur.
Severe cases of alomae can result in total crop loss, while bobone can cause up to 25% yield
Dasheen Mosaic Virus Disease (DMV)
DMV is caused by a stylet-borne, flexuous, rod-shaped virus that is spread by aphids. It is
characterized by chlorotic and feathery mosaic patterns on the leaf, distortion of leaves, and
stunted plant growth.
The disease is not lethal, but yield is depressed. Control is through the use of DMV-
free planting material, field sanitation, and quarantine measures.
The taro beetles of economic importance are several
species belonging to the genus Papuana (Coleoptera:
Crops that are attacked include tannia, sugarcane,
banana, sweet potato, yams, etc.
This versatility of hosts makes the taro beetle
additionally destructive, and its control much more
Mulching with polythene, coconut husk or grass has
only been partially effective.
The Taro Beetle
Other Diseases and Pests
Other diseases and pests of taro include:
a) Corm and root rots caused by the fungi Pythium spp and Phytophthora.b)
c) The taro planthopper, Tarophagus proserpina which not only transmits
virus diseases, but can cause wilting and death of the plant in heavy
e) Taro hornworm which defoliates the plant.
f) Armyworms or cluster caterpillars which can also do extensive damage to
While these diseases and pests may be considered minor, they can become
quite severe in certain locations or at certain times during the cropping
Water stagnation in the field results in tubers that
become hard to cook.
This occurs both in dasheen and eddoe varieties.
Control : - Proper drainage should be
maintain in the field .