Tu’upo So’otaga, a 50-year-old father says people are now turning to the land to earn an extra tala.
The man from Faleasi’u believes this is because people are not earning enough from their regular jobs.
Mr. So’otaga is a father of five, with four of his children living in American Samoa and one attending school in Upolu.
“The life we have here today is really tough and you can tell from people’s living conditions these days,” he shared with the Village Voice team yesterday.
“Most people have gone back and started working their plantation because the salaries they earn from their work are not enough.
“The basic truth about the life we are living now in Samoa is that if you don’t have work to cope with the hardship, you’ll struggle to survive.”
Mr. So’otaga was returning home after collecting firewood when he met the Village Voice team.
“Samoa’s cost of living is very high and I think this is one of the reasons why people are moving overseas in search for a better and affordable life.
“I also think one of the changes in the high cost of living in Samoa is the sudden increase in the number of Chinese businesses,” he explained.
Mr. So’otaga also says the weird weather pattern can be good and bad for farmers.
“People say that this kind of weather pattern is good for farmers because it helps in the vegetation and the soil quality.
“The rain is also good to water the vegetables and all the plants at the plantation.”
Mr. So’otaga says turning to the land is good.
“I am speaking from my experience because I used to work and my salary was not enough, but working my plantation helped me a lot too.
“For us Samoan people, we have land to work on and we need to work our land because foreigners can one day take our land from us.
He concluded: “The good thing about working the plantation is to keep us fit and to avoid non-communicable diseases.”