30 May 2022, Apia Samoa. A full time farming couple from Faleasiu village have received assistance to purchase a 5,000 litre water tank and a chainsaw through the Pacific Islands Rural and Agricultural Stimulus Facility (PIRAS) Project.
Vaiula Aiulu and her husband have been developing their vegetable farm inland of Faleasi’u on four acres of family owned land for the last eight months. Vaiula runs a small vegetable market in front of their residence in the village of Moamoa while her husband stays on site in Faleasi’u to work and maintain their vegetable farm.
Together, the couple grow taro, eggplant, pumpkin, cucumbers, papaya, cocoa, round cabbage, green onions, chives, chilli and lettuce. In addition to supplying her own shop in Moamoa, Vaiula says they also supply Lynn’s Supermarket and Frankie, when needed.
Without access to water in the back lands of Faleasi’u for their vegetable crops, Vaiula says much of their time and labour costs used to go into transporting gallons of water to their farm.
“Before we had our water tank, we had to fill up water gallons (kaloge vai) for our crops. It was so much hard work especially when there was no rain,” said Vaiula.
“We are finally capable of extending the land, thanks to the chainsaws we were able to purchase, with the help of the PIRAS Project. We are in the process of clearing some land to extend our mixed crop vegetables and install our greenhouse to house our seedlings.”
The PIRAS Project aims to support food production, improve nutrition and to strengthen inclusive local value chains. The Project comes at a crucial time to complement the Ministry’s ongoing efforts in creating new and sustainable livelihoods for those severely impacted by the effects of the pandemic, while strengthening food and nutrition security.