Regarded as chiefly food and a delicacy by natives of the Island Kingdom of Tonga, growing yams or ‘ufi is a complex process requiring special skills and effort for its planting and upkeep.
It took up to eight to nine month before they could be harvested.
However, a new book written by Sione Tuʻitahi, the Executive Director, Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand claimed yam is one of the quickest root crops to be planted and harvested.
Tuʻitahi would not give the details of the claim to Kaniva News but anyone who is interested could have everything they need to learn in the new book in Tongan with its title “Tōkanga ko e Moʻuiʻanga”.
The book was written after Tuʻitahi interviewed Late Kiteau Tatafu of Ma’ufanga, one of Tonga’s great yam growers.
Tatafu’s yams when harvested were exceptional in size and quality. He scooped many awards on numerous occasions especially when it came to Tonga’s Annual Royal Agricultural Show.
Tuʻitahi said Tatafu’s prowess as a yam planter could have gone unrecorded if he did not have the opportunity to interview him.
Tatafu died in May 2015.
Tuʻitahi was a Tongan journalist working as a broadcaster at the Tonga Broadcasting Commission and also a reporter at the government sponsored newspaper Kalonikali Tonga. He moved with his family to New Zealand and continued his studies and teachings at some of the universities.
He has written many books for children and adults as well as in education.