26 Nov 2018

American Samoa eyed as gateway for Samoa export to US

10:53 am on 26 November 2018

There are opportunities for Samoan food items to be exported to the United States via American Samoa, American Samoa's Director of Agriculture Filifaatali Mike Fuiava says.

Niuean Taro

taro Photo: Facebook

Filifaatali recently accompanied officials from the Western United States Agriculture Trade Association on visits to large commercial plantations on Upolu and to the Fugalei market.

He said American Samoa's quota free status for exports to the US offered opportunities for crops like taro from Samoa to be sent to the US, using Pago Pago as a gateway.

American Samoa did not have the land resources of Samoa to grow the quantity of taro that would make such a venture commercially viable, he said.

"The only way we can take advantage of the US market and the demand for taro from not just Samoans but other Pacific islanders in America, is to go into joint ventures with Samoa exporters," he said.

Samoa currently exports vacuum packed, sliced, uncooked taro to the US but not whole taro.

Filifaatali said he hoped to have discussions with his counterparts in Samoa about the opportunities in the near future.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs