Savaii's oranges lucrative business

Now that local oranges are in season, local farmers from the big island of Savaii are cashing in on their surplus of fruit by selling in different parts of the urban town area in Apia.

The fruit mainly grows in rural areas of Upolu and Savaii, and has become a fruity boon and blessing for many when in season.

Fetaia’imauso Momoemausu, 24 years old, of Tufutafoe with his sister Faapaia were selling their oranges from Savaii in front of the National Hospital at Motootua. They said they have received more than $4,000 in sales since last week and their family has supplied three loads of oranges already.

“This is our third load, and the first load of oranges we sold from the beginning of last week we got more than $1,500. The second load that we sold toward the weekend we got more than $2400 and now we have almost finished our third load,” said Fetaia’imauso.  

“We delivered oranges here because we know it’s unusual for the people who live in Apia to taste these fresh sweet orange fruits that are found mainly in Savaii. We know there’s a benefit to having many customers who work and live in town.”

The duo sells their oranges for $5 a bunch.

“Some people say $5 is expensive but if you climb on a very high orange tree to get one fruit and you end up falling down on big rocks and break your neck, that $5 is way too low to cover your hospital bills.

“We also try to bring it here all the way from the end of Savaii, and it costs us more than $500 for transportation fees.

“So people who live in Apia understand that hard process, but it’s just our own people from Savaii who always come and have some orange for free,” said Fetaia’imauso.

Faapaia said although she lives in Apia and studies at the National University of Samoa, she wanted to help her brother with his orange venture.

“I’m here to help and support my brother from Savaii, selling his oranges. I live here and study at the National University of Samoa but I’m very excited to help my family from Savaii. It’s very exciting to provide something (orange) that you have to those who do not have it.”

Another Savaii export who travelled over to Upolu to sell his citrus treats, Eti Pua Semau from Papa Sataua said he had only managed to bring over one load of oranges so far.

“I came by the 6 a.m. ferry from Savaii and now [2.30 p.m.] we have over $800.

“It’s a happy time for us as these blessing can support us in other family obligations. We have managed to buy goods for the family before when we supplied enough and used our money wisely.

“In the past, we bought a secondhand pick-up truck from the money that we got from selling oranges and that pick-up truck is very useful to drop our children to school and I use it for my plantation.

“This year’s target is to complete my parent’s 40-30ft house which is nearly finished.”

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