Samoa Observer, 21st May 2018

Revenue from Agriculture makes up only seven percent of Samoa’s Gross Domestic product with taro being a major export. 

Efforts have been made to assist farmers of our major export crops such as cocoa, coconut and taro but there are some challenges that are out of the control of local farmers. Samoa’s largest commercial taro farmer, Peter Tulaga Eliesa, told the Samoa Observer about the struggles farmers in his industry face and his perspective on how they can improve their situation. 

New viruses that attack taro crops are one of the most frustrating problems for farmers at the primary level. Asked why there were so many different types of viruses occurring, Eliesa said quite simply: “Climate change”.

 “The new virus is called B.L.T. and that one is getting tougher and people are giving up on farming,” said Mr. Eliesa.

According to Mr. Eliesa, climate change is affecting the severity and over occurrence of these devastating viruses that kill taros as well dreams.

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