1Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 198, Shashemene, Ethiopia
2Hawassa University, College of Plant Sciences, Department of Horticulture, P. O. Box
Objective: Taro (Colocasia esculenta L. Schott) is a perennial root crop that belongs to Araceace family. It is widely cultivated as a staple food in Africa, Asia and pacific Islands. Despite its importance, there is limited information on many aspects of the crop. In order to obtain data that can support improved and sustainable taro production, a field trial was conducted to study the effects of corm size and plant population density on the growth and corm yield of taro (variety Boloso-1) was investigated during 2007 cropping season. Methods: The experiment consisted of five-corm size (50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200 and 201-250 g) and five levels of planting densities (15037, 29629, 45454, 60606 and 74074 plants/ha) arranged in a factorial randomized complete block design with three replications. Results: The results indicated that corm size had a highly significant (p<0.001) influence on plant height, leaf number, shoot number , leaf area index, corm and cormels number/plant, corm and cormels yield/ ha of taro. All the parameters were increased with increased in corm size. Plant population density exert significant influence (p<0.001) on all the studied parameter except on plant height and number of leaf/plant. The interaction effect of corm size and population density was none significant on all the studied parameters. The highest average corm yield/ha (44.07 t/ha) was achieved at a population of 60,606 plants/ ha using seed corms having 51-100 g. These could be recommended for farmers in production area similar with the study site.