3 Oct 2013

American Samoa worried at loss of local control of food crops

7:41 pm on 3 October 2013

The Department of Agriculture in American Samoa says Asian farmers are taking advantage of the fact local farmers are too lazy to grow certain crops, and making a lot of money in the process.

The department is concerned about the rapid growth of local farming being controlled by mostly Chinese farmers, because they're not sure if they are using approved pesticides.

The deputy director Pete Gurr says it also means that the profits are being repatriated back to the homelands of the farmers rather than circulating in the local economy.

Mr Gurr says foreign farmers find it easy to cut deals with locals.

"Some of the locals that own the land, it's easier for them to lease the land out instead of go farming, actually they're lazing that's the simple answer is that and the Chinese are taking advantage of the opportunity, it's very good money."

Pete Gurr says they have approached the Environmental Protection Agency with their concerns over what chemicals the farmers may be using.