24 Jun 2017

American Samoa struggles with Samoa taro

10:55 am on 24 June 2017

The American Samoa ban on imported taro from Samoa remains in place while officials wait on assessments of an apparent virus in some plants found on Upolu.

The American Samoa director of agriculture, Filifa'atali Mike Fuiava, imposed the ban the week before last, pending tests to determine the disease causing mature taro to be deformed and inedible.

A Taro plant

A taro plant in Samoa Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Meanwhile most stores and restaurants in the territory that used to rely on taro from Samoa, are being supplied by local farmers.

However one of the oldest stores on the western side of the island which has been getting taro from Apia has not sold taro since the ban was imposed.

According to a staffer, none of the local farmers they've talked with can assure a consistent supply.

But the farmers say local stores and vendors want them to sell their taro at the same price that they pay for taro from Samoa and they want much more than this..

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