21 Oct 2008

Samoa PM lobbies for organic farming

4:17 pm on 21 October 2008

Samoa's Prime Minister says he is lobbying for more local farmers to return to organic farming.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also the chairman of the Pacific Organic Farmers Association and Chairman of the subcommittee in Samoa that promotes organic farming, says the best way forward is to go back to traditional farming techniques.

He says it's not only better for people but also the environment.

"I am a fan of no subsidy for agriculture pests control, the chemical that you use to control weeds and pests are the same chemicals the pollute the ground as well [as] polluting the root crops that we ended up eating and thus pumping chemicals into our own bodies. I don't like that. In fact I have been trying to promote the complete stoppage of the use of any more fertilisers and go back to tradition."

Tuilaepa Sailele Malilelegaoi says organic farmers are now reaping premium prices for exports of virgin oil, as overseas markets are paying more for goods that have been certified as organic.