I’d be very careful

Dear Editor,

The only reason that most Samoans don’t have mortgage payments or pay property taxes is because the Samoan culture has always protected their rights to customary lands. 

I see this changing if the call for foreign investment and commercial agriculture becomes the norm as you seem to hope it does. 

This idea of 100 year leases is bad for Samoans as the leaseholders will be pressuring the government to make this land theirs. 

With a one party state as Samoa has become what makes you think that the government can be trusted not to sell out the Samoan people. 

Once this becomes the law of the land then the people will become the landless peasants and the foreign investors and commercial agribusiness will be the landlords that the Samoan people are now paying rent to. 

Believe me Monsanto will not pay the Samoan people more than 3 tala per hour to harvest their patented seed crops. It’s pretty well known that the World Banks and the Asian Development bank loans always favor the investors over the poor country borrowers when it comes to farming and land. 

The latest commodity that these foreign investors seem to be interested in is water. GE, Coca Cola, Nestle and some other big oil and energy groups have formed an umbrella company that is going around buying the water rights in countries wherever they can. 

If I was Samoa I’d be very careful, because currently the people have very little say.

Wendy W.

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