The American Samoa Department of Agriculture will receive a grant of just over $250,000 from the US government to support local specialty crop initiatives.
The grant will go towards farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops through research, agricultural extension activities, and programs to increase demand and address the needs of America's specialty crop industry.
American Samoa's agriculture department director, Lealao Mel Purcell, says the grant money is great news for the local farming community and the economy, as it faces many difficult challenges due to its remote location and limited natural resources.
Lealao says the grant will allow the territory to become better equipped to withstand or recover from global changes that have a negative impact locally.
He says the grant will also enable them to develop better data collection and data management processes, improve strategic planning, and place a heightened emphasis on developing a market for specialty crop value-added products.