25 Jul 2013

American Samoa Senate alarmed at Asian farmers

3:00 pm on 25 July 2013

American Samoa senators have expressed alarm amid local concerns that Asians have apparently taken over farming in the territory.

At this week's hearing on the use of pesticides, the senators were told most of the large-scale vegetable farms are now operated by Asian farmers.

And in addition to selling to shops, more and more of the Asian farmers are selling their produce at the roadside in competition with Samoan farmers.

Some senators claimed the Asian farmers are producing a faster harvest by using pesticides, which have not been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

But agriculture department officials say there is careful monitoring of all pesticides entering the territory and inspections on their usage.

Some of the senators have called for the EPA to hire a specialist to test vegetables grown on the island to ensure they are safe for consumption.