23 Sep 2011

Samoa plans to increase taro exports - but mindful of quality

9:32 am on 23 September 2011

Samoa's Ministry of Agriculture is taking precautions ahead of a push by local farmers to increase taro exports to markets such as New Zealand.

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Le Mamea Ropati, says some of the five species of taro approved for export are under the microscope to ensure they have top quality taste and can compete with the much in demand Fijian taro.

However the ministry's move doesn't stop individual farmers from exporting.

The minister's optimistic the five species of taro would meet the quality requirements demanded by overseas consumers, like the original Samoan taro which had to be eradicated after being plagued with leaf blight fungus.

Le Mamea says the focus of his ministry in the next five year plan is to increase the export return from the agricultural sector.