Farmer calls for more international markets

By Aruna Lolani ,

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GOVERNMENT MUST DO ITS PART: Paepae Seumanutafa from Tiapapata and Falealupo Savai’i.

GOVERNMENT MUST DO ITS PART: Paepae Seumanutafa from Tiapapata and Falealupo Savai’i. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

There are many areas where people need help from their government.

One of the most talked about ways amongst the village folks is the need for the government to find more international markets for local produce.

 Farmer, Paepae Seumanutafa, of Tiapapata and Falealupo, is one of the farmers who believes the government needs to do a better job to help local farmers.

 “I’ve seen so many programmes that have been initiated for the betterment of our country in terms of increasing trading opportunities,” Mr. Seumanutafa said. “Some of these programmes I hear are to benefit our farmers but then I always see some of these people ending up selling their things at our local market.”

The 67-year-old is a farmer himself. This is why he is desperate for help.

“You know that’s fine with me but I was thinking, why can’t we have markets set up in New Zealand, Australia and all the other countries?

“And to make our work easier, why can’t we just give in or collect what the government thinks can be sold to overseas countries.

“For instance, we can provide maybe taro, coconuts or whatever to the government body who handle these things and in return, they will give us our money straight away instead of making us wait.

“They have to be the ones who are responsible in selling the fruits of our lands to other countries and exporting it because mind you, we always work hard in getting what they need and in the end, only a few gets to earn money from whatever opportunities that they came with.

“For us farmers, we can’t just sweat in making sure that we’re getting the right products from our plantations and in the end, most of us get nothing.”

Mr. Seumanutafa said they moved here from Savai’i for two reasons; his children’s education and better opportunities for farming. 

“I have four children and only one of them works now. I love Savaii because it’s where I grew up and also where I’ve learned how to become a farmer.

“And that’s why it’s important to me for the work of my hands to be recognized because this is something much more and it’s because it’s my life and a way for me to earn a living. 

“When I heard about the many opportunities that not only our government but also other countries have introduced to Samoan farmers, I had to come and see for myself and that is why I’ve been here with my family in Upolu since 2000.

“Farmers need more markets in overseas countries so every farmer will benefit from it and the government should really look into that.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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