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Samoa pushing for taro comeback

19 May 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Samoan taro is pushing to make a comeback. 

Promoting and encouraging farmers in Samoa, is the government's plan to increase exports of Samoa's fresh and frozen taro into Australia and New Zealand.

It's been four years since New Zealand re-opened the market after Samoa was hit by the taro leaf blight in 1993, destroying the multi-million dollar industry and shutting them out of the market. 

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La'auli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt, says years of work have gone into testing and breeding taro at the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa. 

Le Foafoa o Aotearoa Producer Fuatemalesa Pili Tago, Samoa's Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt and Chairman of NZ Samoa Trade & Investment Fonoti Dr Lafitai. 

Schmidt is optimistic and encourages the Pacific community in New Zealand to buy their taro and support the economy back home. 

"These are our cash crops. All these years, from our parents, and now us." 

Schmidt was in Brisbane and Auckland this week to promote the taro and says he hopes exporting these goods will lead to other opportunities for their farmers.

"We believe these are the people that need the most and we need to make a pathway for their products to sell." 

Fiji taro continues to dominate the market in New Zealand.