The decision made by Government to prioritise commercial farmers regarding the distribution of banana has received a backlash from members of the public. Our reporter, Adel Fruean asked the public about their opinion on the decision made by the Government and they responded:
Malota Alosina,34, Falelima
I think that the Government should put the needs of those who struggle and poor first. The opportunities that this banana scheme offers great financial support, which is why that is suitable for the people who need it more not the rich. The Samoan Government hasprioritised the needs of the rich and commercial farmers and so they will have more money while the poor have nothing. It is the role of the Government to cater to the needs of its people in a fair manner.
Tupai Iulai,66, Solosolo
I do not support the Government’s decision because only a certain group of farmers tremendously from this new scheme. In my eyes, the Government has put first the needs of those who are rich but what about the poor? If you look at it in a different perspective, you would see that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The Samoan Government should treat everyone equally. Distribute it equally so that the people who struggle could have this opportunity as a blessing to help develop their families and livelihoods.
Faasisili Isaako,58, Papaloloa
In my own opinion, the Government has supported one side and it’s those who are well off. I feel that they are biased and that is unfair to the people of Samoa who are in need. If they only support the rich then who will help and assist those in need and seeking help for a better future. It is important that they should consider everyone’s needs equally, so that it would make our country better. If this opportunity was a gateway for so many Samoan families to be able to escape poverty and help them, then that is a blessing, but I guess that is not in the best interest of the Government.
Maria Faailoga,45, Manono
I do not agree with the decision by the Government to put first the commercial farmers over citizens of Samoa. In all honesty, every Samoan has a plantation and most families that are struggling depend on their plantations for survival, whether financially or supply of food. The focus of the Government should be more on those who are developing and in need of such financial assistance through these opportunities for exports.
Romeo Silva,46, Faleula
I am against the decision that the Government has made by not putting the needs of all the Samoan people first. But instead only helping commercial farmers, there is no equality in that decision, they are well aware that these big farms are well equipped and stable but the people of Samoa need to have access to these opportunities that are given to these commercial farmers. The need to put first those who need help over those who are well equipped is more important. Samoa is made up of small islands and most of its people depend on the plantations for survival, the Government should look into helping its people.
Lusia Sagato,50, Leauvaa
I disagree with the decision to put emphasis on commercial farmers over the needs of just any farmer in Samoa. The reason being is that they should help those who do not have access to such opportunities instead of making the rich richer. If the people are struggling, the Government is not doing more to help with their situations, for example the banana distribution scheme can benefit our people greatly and that is step forward to development.