Farmers Get a Briefing on Process to Be Certified for SLP

A meeting of vegetable farmers called by Acting Director of Agriculture Tapaau Dr Dan Aga for this afternoon is to explain the procedures that farmers have to meet in order to be certified to supply the School Lunch Program.

The meeting is set for 1pm today at the DOA conference room.

Last month DOA abruptly suspended supplies of local produce for the school lunch program with the exception of vegetables and fruits from hydroponic farms.

The department also put a stop to the selling of vegetables and friuits to the public except for those grown hydroponically.

Agriculture said that routine inspections found that farms were using pesticides and chemicals which were not certified by EPA , or were using more than the allowable quantity,

Last week Governor Lolo Moliga appointed Tapaau, the former head of the Land Grant Division of the Ameircan Samoa Community College and now head of the Constitutional and Political Status Office, to temporarily take over Agriculture while both Director Lealao Mel Purcell and Deputy Peter Gurr are off island.

Tapaau says the meeting is to explain what farmers need to do in order to be certified to be a supplier for the School Lunch Program.

He said the meeting will give farmers an opportunity to ask questions and get an understanding of conditions that they and their farms must meet before they can begin supplying vegetables and fruits to School Lunch again.

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