17 Sep 2012

American Samoa looks for a market to export its taro

4:19 am on 17 September 2012

The Department of Agriculture in American Samoa says it is working with the Department of Commerce to determine a market to export its taro.

The Department of Agriculture is experimenting with taro breeding to create a blight-resistance species which it hopes will be the territory's first type of taro to be exported.

A taro leaf blight devastated production in American Samoa and Samoa in the 1990s.

The Director of the Department of Agriculture, Lealao Mel Purcell says the aim is to utilise unused land in American Samoa and grow the economy.

"Well right we're working with the Department of Commerce. We are doing a survey of possibility for a market outside of the territory and when those figures are finally realised then we're able to determine our course of action."

Lealao Mel Purcell says he hopes American Samoa can eventually export its taro to Hawaii, the United States mainland and Canada.