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Samoa: Growth of banana exports market expected

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Since the recent resumption of banana exports to New Zealand, Samoan banana plantations are beginning to flourish again. This year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries introduced two varieties of banana species from South Africa for the purposes of growing for export.

In collaboration with the newly formed Banana Growers Association, the Ministry has taken steps to support and strengthen the banana industry during its nascent stages to meet the demands of a lucrative market in New Zealand. Inspection visits were conducted in Savai’i last week, in a series of interventions to help support the banana growers who are farming the new varieties of bananas at this time.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Crops A.C.E.O. for the Ministry, Moafanua Tolo Iosefa said the lessons learnt since the 60’s and 70’s serves to inform the way forward in building up the banana industry from the ground up. “Banana is one of the commodities we used to export in the 60’s and 70’s but because of the outbreak of the leaf disease, it completely destroyed the banana industry and from that time on only a few people/farmers and S.T.E.C. tried to maintain the exports of banana but then later on because of the expense of maintaining the banana plantations, everything came to a halt. It’s very expensive to maintain a banana plantation up to the standard of export quality.” describes how, despite the initial challenges of growing and maintaining banana plantations for export, Moafanua says the economic benefits are worth the investment.

Publication date: 6/15/2018


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