Sosene Asifoa is a farmer on the island of Tutuila in American Samoa. He raises pigs and grows vegetables such as dryland taro, cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage. He’s also a regular supplier of top soil to the American Samoa Community College Land Grant Extension Service for their greenhouse operations.
For years, Asifoa had been using vetiver grass to control erosion on his steep cropland fields, which are typical in American Samoa. In 2009, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service gave him funding to continue planting and propagating this grass around his 10.4-acre property. He even helped the American Samoa Soil and Water Conservation District propagate the vetiver for other farmers to use. Such vegetative barriers have since become one of the standards for controlling erosion in steep farming situations in American Samoa.
Asifoa also received funding to construct new dry-litter piggery facilities. He typically has 80–100 pigs at any given time and, prior to building these facilities, he washed manure out of the pigs’ stalls, causing a runoff of nutrients into nearby streams and ponds. Read more »
Edward Avegalio transformed his farm into a hydroponic haven that expanded his acreage and made the land accessible to his needs.
Edward Avegalio fought for his country in Operation Desert Shield in the early 1990s. Today, he serves his country by providing locally grown, fresh produce to area schools, local restaurants and stores through the first hydroponic farm in American Samoa that was redesigned to allow him to actively work the land. Read more »
The Gurr family moved from a nursery at their home to a retail space near the capital of American Samoa.
Island Flowers by Liana opened their doors to American Samoa on May 7, 2008 — the week of Mother’s day — and business has been blooming every since. From humble beginnings selling cut flowers directly out of nurseries from their home in Maloata, this family run operation has become one of the leading florist shops on the island and a growing contributor to the local economy. Read more »
Steve Tava’s piece will be displayed in the Farm Service Agency Hawaii State Office in Honolulu.
As part of its approach to community outreach, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) American Samoa office sponsored a week-long effort to catalyze high school students and the public to think about pursuing a career in agriculture.
American Samoa consists of 7 islands and is 77 square miles, an area just slightly larger than Washington, D.C. Due to the limited land area, traditional farming depends largely on “interspersed” farming of taro planted among banana crops, although local production is diversifying toward modern hydroponic operations. Read more »