Governor Issues Directive for Farm Inspections

Following on the heels of the Department of Agriculture’s decision to suspend the supply of all locally grown vegetables except those grown hydroponically for the School Lunch Program, and the sale of all such produce, except for taro and bananas, the governor issued a memo to the same effect.

The governor’s memo which came out the same day as the Department of Agriculture alert said since locally-grown produce is destined for the School Lunch Program, the suspension is valid until further notice.

This is to protect the safety of the food supply for the SLP .

Governor Lolo has appointed departments and agencies to conduct site visits to all farms to inventory fertilizers and chemicals.

The departments include agriculture, ASEPA, Public Health, ASPA, Customs Division of Treasury, Office of Samoan Affairs and the Department of Education.

In addition, the team is to assess compliance with local laws particular to labeling requirements, ascertain how fertilizers and chemicals are used, and assess methods of monitoring and securing the supply of fertilizers and chemicals on the same plot of land.

The agencies are also to propose new legislation to improve the ability to monitor, control and enforce the illegal use of these substances.

The group’s most urgent task is to identify which farmers will be allowed to supply produce to the School Lunch Program.

Farmers certified by this group will be immediately allowed to resumes sales to School Lunch.

Others will be given a corrective action plan to bring their farms into compliance.

The governor’s directive also aims to stop the entry of illegal fertilizers and chemicals.

Governor Lolo spells out that all products entering the territory must carry English labels as required by current law.

And he’s ordered the Customs Division to aggressively enforce existing laws for the importation of fertilizers and chemicals.

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