About Kumara

Typical Analysis

Per serving of 100g

Energy

830 Kj

Protein

2.3g

Fat
- Total
- Saturated


4.5g
3.0g

Carbohydrates
- Total
- Saturated


33g
11.7g

Sodium

54g

Kumara is a root vegetable most commonly grown in the Northern part of the North Island of New Zealand. Said to have been brought to the country in Wakas (Maori Canoes) by the early Maori settlers, it has been cultivated in New Zealand for hundreds of years.

Over time, particular varieties have evolved with the main variety grown named Owairaka Red. This variety has a deep reddish skin with a yellowish flesh and totals an estimated 75% of crop planted. The other varieties are Toka Toka Gold with golden skin and flesh, and Beauregard an orange fleshed variety imported from America.

Kumara are a very labour intensive crop to grow with seed beds put down by hand, plants cut manually and each plant individually carefully placed in the soil by workers sitting on tractor drawn planters. The plants are then watered by tractor drawn watercarts for a few days until they grow roots and then are carefully monitored over their growing season (120 days). In this time hand weeding is often required and cultivating between rows with tractors is carried out to remove weeds.

Harvesting is done using a tractor drawn harvester carrying up to 10 workers who sort the tubers from the soil and place into bins. The kumara are then taken to purpose built storehouse’s where they are stored until they are removed for packing.

Kumara are often compared to ordinary potato, but are very different to grow. Tonnes per hectare are significantly less for kumara and they are far more labour intensive and costly to grow therefore generally cost more to the end consumer than potato.



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