28 Jan 2019

Small Samoan farms 'struggling to meet demand'

8:20 pm on 28 January 2019

A prominent Samoan farmer says locals cannot meet the overseas demand for taro and the country needs to turn to fully commercial operations.

Samoa Chicken Breeding Farm

Samoa chicken farm Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Papalii Panoa Tavita told Newsline Samoa that commercial farming is the answer to increasing agricultural exports.

He said there were currently only two or three commercial farmers providing exports.

Papalii said small farmers could not be relied upon to provide what is needed because they only work when they feel like it.

He said small farmers needed to know that taro must be consistently available.

Papalii said government support for commercial farmers was not enough.

And he pointed out that a labour shortage can be attributed to a seasonal workers scheme which sent capable people overseas.

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