5 Oct 2012

American Samoa looks to develop a local cocoa industry

9:43 am on 5 October 2012

The American Samoa Department of Agriculture has been awarded a more than 200,000 US dollar grant by the US Department of Agriculture to help with its plans to develop a local cocoa industry.

The grant comes from fund to support America's specialty crops producers, who provide the fruits, vegetables, nuts and other nutritious foods.

According to USDA the grant is awarded to the American Samoa Department of Agriculture to partner with the Native Hawaiian Holding Company to develop the cocoa industry in the territory.

Native Hawaiian Holding Company is the organisation which was awarded a sole source contract to provide training and creation of jobs related to the telemedicine industry.

The group's local partners are American Pacific Resources, owned by Mike and Paula MacDonald.

The Director of Agriculture Lealao Mel Purcell says two cocoa plantations are starting in Fagasa and in Ta'u.