Leauva’a: the village of tobacco
According to Atamamao Tanielu,from the village of Leauva’a-Uta, tobacco farming is one of the best ways of making money in Samoa.
Aged 53, Atamamao says that it’s a fast-growing plant and when there’s a shortage of tobacco in Samoa, they can make more than $1,000 a day.
Atamamao says that farming the tobacco plant has helped her family so much which is why they stick to it.
“We have been growing tobacco for a while now,” she told the Village Voice.
“It’s a really good way of making money and it helps a lot with my family’s needs. Our last batch of tobacco was just harvested not long ago and this one is almost ready.
“We have been growing this for over five years now and we stick with it because it’s really good money.”
Atamamao says that right after harvest, it doesn’t take too long for all their shredded tobacco to be sold out.
“When my husband goes to sell the tobacco then we make an average of $600 a week,” she said.
“We sell it around Apia area and it sells very fast. We sell a small handful of cut up tobacco for $5 and it goes.
“I focus on growing these tobacco plants while my husband grows other crops. He then goes off to sell them in town and to those people who order some from us.
“We used to have frequent buyers who would stop by our house but they slowly stopped. Now we rely on deliveries to earn some money.
“In this village, a lot of people grow tobacco so no one ever goes and buys other people’s plants. Leauva’a is known as the village of tobacco.”
“We don’t really have any plans on what we’ll use our earnings on but once we start making more then we will start planning,” she said.
“It takes three months for the tobacco to be ready for harvest. The money we make just goes to taking care of the family and all of the obligations we have in the village and church.
“Sometimes when there is a shortage of tobacco in Samoa then we can make over $1,000 in just one day. That’s because the price increases tremendously.”
Atamamao and her husband recommend growing tobacco to earn money because it has helped her family quite a bit.
“Farming is such a good business,” she said.
“No one is currently employed in my family but we can make so much money from the things we grow on the land. It’s hard work but it’s worth it.
“I am just grateful for the blessing of fertile land from the Lord.”