Weather pattern a growing pain
Farmers may continue to experience lowered yield due to weather conditions.
Recent heavy rain in the Fale’ula and surrounding areas knocked flowers from fruit trees reducing their fruit bearing capacity as well as damaging vegetables.
An official at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Crops Division believes that fruit production would be impacted with the principle plants affected being “mangos, rambutan and abiu trees”. Despite the loss, they stated that the extent of the damage was limited.
“No major problems were caused.” Ropeta Luka, a grower in the Fugalei market expressed concerns after losing many flowers from her fruit trees including abiu, mangos and soursop. “I’m worried,” she said.
It wasn’t only fruit trees that were affected.
“The heavy rain damaged the vegetable leaves,” said Fuatinoi Kaio who mentioned in particular tomatoes and cucumbers.
The rain came after months of drought. Data from December is currently being collated by the Samoan Meteorology Division but the previous quarter from June to August saw “average to below average rainfall”. It was noted by the Crops Division of MAF that “yield was less than expected” due to the drought.