Minister sees no advantage in exporting taro through here

It is highly unlikely that taro from Samoa would be shipped to the mainland United States markets through American Samoa.

That is the reaction from Samoa’s Minister of Agriculture Lopao’o Natanielu Mu’a to a suggestion by Director of Agriculture Filifa’atali Mike Fuiava of possible joint ventures between Samoa and American Samoa to meet the demand for taro in the United States.

Filifaatali said there’s not enough land in the territory to farm taro at the scale that’s needed to export the quantities needed to make it a profitable venture.  And this is where a joint venture between the two Samoa can work, using American Samoa’s duty free status for exports to the US.

Minister Lopao’o told KHJ News that Samoa has been shipping fresh taro to US markets directly “for several years now”.

“I do not think there is in any benefit except that it will probably cause the price to go up a bit because of the added middle-man costs,” said the Minister.

Lopao’o believes Samoa is doing fine right now but at the end of the day, the price rules and maybe if American Samoa can come up with a better deal for Samoa’s taro farmers, they may consider it.

1 Comment

  1. Dark Side of the Moon

    Samoa’s ag minister is right on track! When I first read this last week I just couldn’t understand how we would possibly benefit from it, without adding more cost to Samoan farmers. What was he thinking? Some sort of tax for taro via us when they already send directly to US markets? This is the same guy who suggested we open an office in Samoa & dictate to farmers there! We need directors who are qualified in their particular field, otherwise, how can they lead or make informed decisions? That applies to a lot of ASG departments & it hinders progress which ultimately impacts our economy and all of us.


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