Samoa should look at cultivating watermelons

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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SAMOA SHOULD REALLY CONSIDER GROWING FRUITS LIKE THIS: Muta’aga Samau, 38, from the village of Levili.

SAMOA SHOULD REALLY CONSIDER GROWING FRUITS LIKE THIS: Muta’aga Samau, 38, from the village of Levili.

Everyone loves them. The  problem for Samoa is that if you want a watermelon, the chances are you will have to buy one that has been imported from Tonga.

Yet with many saying that Samoa’s soil is rich with nutrients, it begs the question of why Samoa cannot produce watermelons en masse.

That’s the view of Muta’aga Samau, from the village of Levili, who sells imported watermelons from Tonga.

Muta’aga explains that Samoa is just scraping the surface of what we can do in terms of agriculture.

She explains that if Samoa were to explore new crop varieties like watermelon then it will benefit the people so much as well as the country.

Muta’aga says that she makes quite a bit from selling watermelons and it has motivated her to start up her own watermelon plantation.

“Ok so what you see in front of me are imported watermelons from Tonga during the Christmas holidays,” she told the Village Voice.

“I have been doing good selling this fruit, I think I have made about $30,000 so far from the batch I received during Christmas container.

“One of my Tongan friends brought the container over and now I am just selling them for a bit of money, a few hotels come and purchase from me.”

On a single day, selling watermelons can make a possible $1000 because of its high demand from hotels and people who have to deal with gatherings.

“Last week Monday, I was able to make about $1000 a day and other days I would make $700,” Muta’aga said.

“But right now, I am looking into using our land in Fagali’i to start a watermelon plantation because they sell fast.

“Selling watermelons not only gives really good money, but it’s also fast cash compared to the other crops we Samoans usually grow.

“I mean, just looking at the money I make from selling these Tongan watermelons makes me realize how great it would be for Samoa to start growing them.”

Muta’aga urges the government and the people to start looking at new fruits and crops to grow because Samoa has a lot of potential with agriculture.

“Actually, I have started storing some watermelon seeds so that I can start up my own plantation,” she said.

“I have had quite a few people who showed interest in developing their own watermelon plantation; this is something that Samoa should focus on.

“I mean just look at the sales, it’s still early in the day and I have made over $100 already. So many people come to me because they have to cater a function or a family gathering.

“I sell my watermelons as low as $10 and there are many people who love to buy from me. The one thing I know is that we need to start getting some seeds to grow this fruit.

“Exploring new possible farming crops like watermelon will really benefit the country and the people.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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