The Samoa Farmers Association hosted a Market day during the weekend to showcase the fruits of their work.
The monthly event was held opposite St. Mary’s Primary School. There, a variety of produce were displayed for visitors to sample and buy.
One of the farmers was Mere Raluve. She was happy that a lot of people stopped by and bought their products.
“This is an opportunity for our farmers to bring in their products to sell,” she said.
Diversity in farming is what the Samoa Farmers Association is encouraging.
“We are trying to be diverse,” she said.
“We are not just focusing on the vegetables, fruits, traditional crops like taro, breadfruit and others. But we are also bringing in our floricultural because it is another important part of farming. It contributes a lot in terms of income for the farmers.”
Getting more women to be involved with farming is another aim of the programme.
“We also encourage and look at the important role of women in farming. Usually when we talk about farming, we think of men straight away. But at the Samoa Farmer’s Association, we encourage and emphasize the participation and the commitment of women.”
They are also looking at educating the youth on how to become successful farmers.
“We are targeting the youths,” said Mere.
“We train them, especially the children of the farmers. They observe what their parents do and help them out with their work and that is a good thing because they are the future of our country.
“The main aim of S.F.A is to educate farmer’s children and the youth for the future. Teaching kids how to feed themselves and how to live in a community responsibly is the true definition of education.”
Farming is a job for anyone.
“Being a farmer is not just a man’s job; anyone can be a farmer,” she said.
“You just have to stay committed and work really hard. You reap what you sow right?
“A good farmer is someone who takes her duties seriously. Farmers contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. The farmers produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, and they conserve scenery.
“So this market day brings all of us together once in a month, and we bring in whatever we can bring. From ornamentals to fruit, to taro, coconuts, drinking nuts(niu) and traditional Samoan food.”
The money they make at the end of each market days goes straight back to the farmers.
“The Association organise the market day and they provide the tent and Lemalu Chan Mow provides the venue for the market day.
“The farmers don’t have to pay for money. They only bring in their food and sell it here. So whatever money they get, that’s for the farmers to take home.
“We’ve had some good sales from the previous market days we’ve had.”
According to Mere, a farmer selling pot plants and ornaments earned $10,000 after one day.
“For Christmas last year, we ran the market day for two days, and our farmers earned a lot of money at that time. It depends; if they bring a lot, they will also take a lot back home.
“Most of them know exactly how much they will be taking home because we’ve been having this market day for quite some time now and it’s done once in a month. Sometimes we make more than $2,000 for just one day from selling the ‘pisua.’