If it weren’t for taro and banana plantations, families in Samoa wouldn’t know where to get money. Indeed it would be scary to imagine life without the plantations.
So says Eli Alatise, 40-years-old and from the village of Faleapuna.
He says the plantation is the only way out of hardship.
“This is how most families here in Samoa survive,” he said.
“Plantation is all they depend on for income. This is all we have to support our kids. It’s not that easy though. Planting and waiting to harvest is a long period of time.”
Eli had just sold one basket of taro from six he had.
“It’s hard to sell crops around here,” he said.
“If you drive around our area, most families are selling the same thing. That’s a sign that most people are depending on the plantation.
“The sale is good money because what we earn depends on how many baskets of taro we sell but it’s usually once a week.”
The father doesn’t complain because it’s reality.
“This has always been the way since I was young.
“Every day I keep telling myself that if I give up what I’m doing my family especially my children will suffer. I will never let that happen.”
Eli, like many other people, believe money is buried in the soil.
“It just means we need to work hard,” he said.
“Even if selling taro is slow nowadays, this is the only way I would prefer to provide for my family. It had helped my family a lot.
“This is always been our income up till now.
“My children are able to go school every day; we also have some savings for our future plans.
“This is why I never get discouraged because our livelihoods depend on our plantation.”