By Salā Sagato Tuiafiso
Samoa Farmer Association (SFA), with the support of the Pacific Island Farmer Organization Network (PIFON), organized a special training for its pineapple growers from 1st to 4th December 2014 at the USP Alafua Campus and in some of the selected farms.
Mr Peter Kjaer, an experienced pineapple farmer for more than thirty years from Teitei Taveuni Farmers Organization in Fiji, was invited by the Samoa Farmer Association and funded by PIFON to share his knowledge and experience in pineapple farming.
A total of fourteen household and two commercial farmers attended the training which included practical demonstrations at the Tanumapua Farm (belonging to Tanuvasa Charlie Westerlund) and at Mr. Atinae’s farm at Faleasiu.
The training has provided the SFA pineapple growers with a method of planting to reduce the need to weed which in turn saves on weed control costs, the selection/grading of planting materials, feeding applications and how to increase availability of planting materials to increase expansion of production.
In the interest of all year round availability, Mr. Kjaer demonstrated how this could be done through the application of a special hormone which enables the plant to flower for early pollination resulting in fruiting in about 18 – 24 weeks.
Several of the farmers have started applying these principles to their current pineapple production, and this nutritious and much loved fruit should be available all year round in Samoa in the upcoming future.