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Country Highlights

Agriculture Challenges and Potential in American Samoa

Agriculture plays a small but important role in American Samoa’s economy, providing jobs and food security for rural communities. Key crops include bananas, breadfruits, taro, yams and tropical fruits. Fishing and livestock farming of pigs and chickens also sustain local diets.

However, recurring hurricanes often devastate crops. Infertile soil, small landholdings and lack of irrigation limit productivity. This makes American Samoa heavily reliant on imported foods. Expanding agriculture is also challenged by the territory’s remoteness and lack of transport infrastructure.

Developing local agro-processing facilities near farms would allow for value-addition activities such as drying, packaging and establishment of cold storage infrastructure. This would help reduce post-harvest losses and better support food security for agriculture.

Agriculture training programs teaching modern sustainable farming techniques, fisheries management practices and business skills development can improve economic opportunities and livelihoods for farmers and fishing communities.

Partnering smallholder farmers with export aggregators and distributors provides access to larger markets while also taking advantage of potential agriculture economies of scale benefits.

Transitioning more farms to organic production methods suited to the tropical environment would open opportunities to tap growing global demand for chemical-free foods. Organic certification also commands higher prices in international markets.

Agriculture researching and cultivating native or specialty high-value crops such as tropical fruits, herbs or flowers adapted to local conditions could attract niche export markets. Partnering with offshore distributors well-connected to specialty supermarkets and gourmet chefs worldwide would leverage American Samoa’s “exotic” appeal.

Strengthening linkages between farmers, fishers, hotels and schools through collaborative programs is another avenue to explore in agriculture. This could involve local sourcing for kitchens, agri-education initiatives in schools and farm-to-table dining experiences for tourists. Such measures instill community pride and support the local economy.

There is potential to boost output through initiatives around agro-processing, organic farming and fisheries development. Consulting assistance can help revamp traditional methods by introducing climate-smart technologies. Building local capacity and linking farmers to export channels will also strengthen food production capacities over the long term.

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Featured Reports

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