Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L) Schott.) is one of the underutilized crops in Ghana which has great potential in terms of food and nutritional value. Eighteen (18) accessions collected from Samoa (8), Malaysia (2), Indonesia (2) and Ghana (6) were studied under field conditions to collect data on their agro-morphological characteristics and yield potential for the development of the crop. The study was conducted at Nobewam in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality in Ashanti Region. Randomized complete block design (RCBD) was used with three replications. Data were collected for 16 qualitative and 13 quantitative traits. Variations were observed in the vegetative and yield components. Plant height of the accessions ranged from 66.1 to 110.4 cm; corm length ranged from 12.5 to 18.5 cm; the maturity period ranged from 7 to 9 months and the corm weight ranged from 0.26 to 0.79 kg. Significant differences (p<0.05) were observed, indicating higher degree of variability in the accessions. Significant (p<0.001) and positive correlations were observed between corm length and corm diameter; economic (corm) yield and biological (stover) yield, corm diameter, corm length and corm weight. Leaf length correlated positively with corm diameter and corm weight. The principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the first component (PC1) accounted for 53.98% of the morphological traits. Nine accessions: CE/MAL/32, BL/SM/158, BL/SM/10, BL/SM/116, CE/IND/16, BL/SM/132, BL/SM/16, CE/MAL/14 and SAO/006 possess desirable characters such as earliness and yield which could be exploited for varietal development of taro in Ghana.
Key words: Agro-morphological traits, characterization, Colocasia esculenta, principal component analysis.
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