12 Aug 2013

American Samoa push to grow more food locally

6:17 am on 12 August 2013

American Samoa's Department of Agriculture is working with farmers to increase their production of food staples to reduce the territory's reliance on imports.

The Agriculture Director, Lealao Mel Purcell, said it will begin a taro breeding and training for local farmers so that they will have enough taro species to grow and sell.

The goal is to gradually replace imported taro with locally-grown taro.

Lealao said the Department of Agriculture is trying to get locals interested in working the land and selling their produce to shops.

He says current popular items include bath and body lotions, and long-stem red roses:

"This year has been the best Valentines for us since we opened our business in 2008. I think everbody has been more romantic, not just the men but the women, too."

Agriculture Director Lealao Mel Purcell