Director of Agriculture Filifaatali Mike Fuiava believes there’s sufficient supplies of taro in American Samoa so that the ban on taro imports from Samoa will not create a problem.
At a meeting yesterday for taro farmers the DOA Director explained the situation and what the farmers need to do to fill taro supplies for local stores and vendors whose supplies come from Apia.
There are about 100 taro farmers on island and the Director told them to find out for themselves stores whose taro is being supplied from Apia and negotiate business with them.
Filifa’atali told KHJ News it’s too early to say when the ban will be lifted but a decision may be determined once test results of taro samples that Samoa has sent to Germany for testing are received
To ensure the suspension of taro and tiapula or taro shoots from Samoa is enforced, the local Department of Agriculture has informed local agents for the Lady Naomi, Polynesian Shipping Corporation and the Quarantine Division in Samoa that until further notice, taro and taro shoots will not be allowed to enter American Samoa.
The DOA Director said he is grateful the problem with the taro is occurring when most schools are out for summer.
A few farmers told KHJ News that their prayers have been answered and tdIRECTOR he problem is a blessing in disguise.
They said with schools out, they’re able to find new customers for their taro instead of having to sit at the market the whole week.