American Samoa

Samoa taro ban in American Samoa lifted

Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said he received a letter from American Samoa authorities informing him the ban, which started over concerns about a taro virus, was being lifted.

However, Tuilaepa said concerns were also raised over the dirty condition of taro arriving in the territory.

He has called on the Ministry of Agriculture and shipping corporations to check shipments before export to make sure the crops are fully cleaned and safe as well as meeting the quarantine requirements.

Samoa questions American Samoa's continued taro ban

The chief executive of Samoa's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said the taro virus that caused the ban has been found in crops from American Samoa.

Tilafono David Hunter said the ministry had a copy of test results from Hawai'i on the American Samoa taro which proved they had the same virus.

The two Samoas held talks in Apia last December and it was agreed a decision on lifting the ban would be made by March this year.

Call for freer border between Samoas

The call by the Member of Parliament for Urban West Faumuina Wayne Fong was made during discussion on the immigration law.

Faumuina said while travellers from all other countries were free to stay in Samoa for 90 days, American Samoans were not given the same privilege and he said that isn't fair.

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi told parliament the minute American Samoa removed its entry permits for Samoan citizens, Samoa would do the same for American Samoans.



Chocolatier to import cocoa from American Samoa

At present, Wilex, uses cocoa supplied by farmers in Upolu and Savaii, but company representative Nathan Wilson says it is also looking at supplies from American Samoa.

A cocoa tree planting programme was spearheaded by American Samoa's Department of Agriculture between 2008 and 2012 and cocoa plantations sprung up in Fagasa, Malaeloa and even in Manua.

Wilex exports chocolates and cocoa powder to New Zealand and Australia and is now promoting its products in the territory.


Samoa opposes American Samoa prisoner repatriation

Tialavea Tionisio Hunt told the Samoa Observer he would not entertain the notion of convicted Samoans being deported.

The idea of repatriation was flagged by American Samoa's police commissioner as a way to reduce numbers at the territory's overcrowded prison.

The commissioner Le'i Sonny Thompson said the majority of prisoners in American Samoa are Samoan nationals.


American Samoa proposes new entry programme to Samoa

The proposal was discussed during Thursday's two Samoa meeting between leaders of American Samoa and Samoa in Apia.

American Samoa has proposed a "Samoa Pass Program" to better facilitate travel between the two Samoas.

The programme proposal has two features.

The first is 'Samoa Pass', a no cost, three-day permit for US Nationals to travel to Samoa.

The second is 'Samoa Premium', a single permit fee which allows multiple entries to Samoa over the course of a year.

American Samoa Government officials head to Apia for 2 Samoa talks

Close to 30 officials are attending the two days of talks.

Director of Commerce Keniseli Lafaele who is one of the coordinators for American Samoa says the size of the local delegation and the agenda of the talks have been reduced from what was originally planned.

He says the agenda includes economic integration (trade, commerce and investments), immigration and homeland security, broadband connectivity opportunities (telecommunication), health, climate change, fisheries, tourism, workforce development, election issues.

American Samoa official calls for improved fishing access

Frank Barron has told a meeting in Pago Pago that the Parties to the Nauru Agreement and the Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission are taking advantage of the fleet.

He said the entire US fleet is hurting and it needs support from the US government.

Mr Barron said through its vessel-day-scheme the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) can control the area being fished and the cost of admission.

Robot to patrol American Samoa marine sanctuary

The US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration has announced a multi-year partnership with Liquid Robotics, a company owned by Boeing.

The NOAA said the robot, called the ocean glider, would conduct long-term environmental monitoring and surveillance of the underwater ecosystems.

It said it would help address critical long-term monitoring and data collection gaps that are not economically feasible with traditional research assets.


Photo: Public Domain

Farmers only to export taro from Samoa to American Samoa

American Samoa's director of agriculture Filifa'atali Mike Fuiava said he has met with counterparts in Samoa to explain the new rules, but needed more time to explain the requirements to others in the territory.

He said only then, the ban on taro from Samoa can be lifted.

The director said the new conditions are precautionary measures to assure food safety.

RNZI reports the ban began in May due to an unidentified disease that was causing taro roots to rot before they mature.