10 Oct 2012

Budding cocoa industry in American Samoa gets US support

3:11 pm on 10 October 2012

Plans to develop a cocoa industry in American Samoa are well under way after a grant was given last week to the Department of Agriculture by its US counterpart.

The grant comes from a fund to support the US's specialty food growers overseas.

With two plantations already starting in Fagasa and Ta'u, there are plans to expand the project into Manu'a.

The Director of Agriculture Lealao Mel Purcell says he hopes to take advantage of the growing interest in cultivating cocoa.

"We have a lot of people who have shown an interest in planting cocoa, we've already moved into four or five villages. There is an interest right now and we want to take an advantage of the momentum in that interest because obviously, when it comes [sic] harvesting it's going to be a whole lot of coco beans to meet the market demand."