11 May 2015

Proposal to benefit Samoan farmers and village

4:45 pm on 11 May 2015

The owner of a food company in Samoa hopes to set up a contract that allows farmers to re-invest in their work, as well as meet the cultural demands of the village.

Natural Foods International wants to teach farmers how to better maintain their breadfruit trees, to improve their yield and income.

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Photo: RNZ / Mary Baines

Its owner, Papalii Grant Percival, says under Samoa's Constitution, many of the farmers can't work for themselves, they work for their chief or village council.

He says he's proposed a contract which pays a portion of the income to the village, and the bulk of the payment to the farmer.

"Speaking to the matais and the village chiefs, they're sort of saying, well, we don't want you to do that. And I say, but the problem is if I give you the money, you'll decide how much he gets. He needs to get the bulk of it so that he can re-invest in his farm, and increase his turn over and increase his livelihoods, and I need you to be a part of it, so that there's control, and he doesn't get punished for going into business, which sometimes happens in the villages."

The owner of Natural Foods International, Papalii Grant Percival.