Koko businesswoman expresses her views

By Fetalai Tuiluluu ,

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WORKING THE KOKO: Sina Tala Sulu, 71, of Nonoa Saleimoa.

WORKING THE KOKO: Sina Tala Sulu, 71, of Nonoa Saleimoa. (Photo: Fetalai Tuilulu’u)

Samoan people cannot be poor.

We live on fertile soil and there are fruits of the land to depend upon.

Take for example koko Samoa.

According to Sina Tala Sulu of Nonoa Saleimoa, if the crop was developed properly with initiatives for farmers to grow it religiously, there are big opportunities to make money from it.

The problem is that the government has allowed foreigners to dominate the local industries, which has seen the decline of local businesses.

 “If help from China is in the form of gifting to help develop Samoa’s economy, I would be overjoy,” she said.

“The problem I see is that there is a huge price to pay for us. And that’s where I think we have to be careful.

 “All I hear and read in the newspaper is that the Chinese are offering us cheap goods but what is the price for us? 

“My fear is that Samoa may not be in position to own our land down the road. Where will our future generations go?”

Sina said the government has got to be alert.

“To be honest it is easy for the P.M. to be joke around and say that Samoa is okay but we can’t be too relaxed about this.

“We see the impact of foreigners in Samoa and it is not good.”

Getting back to the koko, Sina’s job is to roast and sell koko Samoa.

She said it is a lucrative industry but it is hard work.

She used to run a local store.

But she said people took so much goods on credit and never paid so she closed it. Now she solely relies on the income from her koko business.

 “As you can see the we gather koko from our plantation to sell to earn money,” she said.

“It’s good income but it’s hard work. But I guess that’s life. Everything in life is hard.”

Lastly, she said: “I’m not saying the Chinese are not useful to our development. My point is that they are taking away businesses that should be reserved for us locals to develop.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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