18 Jun 2008

American Samoa rice importer going for potatoes as rice price soars

7:05 pm on 18 June 2008

A company in American Samoa says it won't import any more rice until it becomes cheaper.

American Samoa is experiencing a rice shortage and the governor has established a panel to investigate the cause for it.

The company, Tautuamo, usually imports its rice from Australia but treasurer, Francine Monotaga, says it's too expensive to import at present.

"Because of the high price of rice, we're not ordering any more rice. We will probably wait, see if the market will improve in a few months time and if the price goes down, hopefully. But the last order we checked, the price has doubled, 200 percent."

Francine Monotaga says it has one container of rice left and it's now ordering other staples, such as potatoes, instead to make up for the loss in rice product.