Amata commends American Samoa’s farmers on National Farmers Day
Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Uifa’atal Amata commended American Samoa’s farmers on National Farmers Day yesterday, highlighting the good work they do to feed the community along with their own families, and provide nutritious natural options as they grow and harvest American Samoa’s rich variety of island crops and delicious fresh fruits.
“…Whether your harvest provides your main income or is something you do in addition to other employment, it all adds up as part of our islands’ health and better self-sufficiency. I’m in Washington, D.C. today, and I’m personally missing our delicious homegrown island favorites!
“Thank you for ensuring our people have taro, papayas, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, bananas, coconuts and more, so these healthy foods are readily available,” she noted.
Ongoing federal programs that benefit American Samoa include a nutrition supplement through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by way of a block grant program to ASG, along with occasional food safety and other program grants. Since early 2020, these programs have been additionally funded by Congress through Covid relief beginning with the historic CARES Act.
Amata recently emphasized island food security in a July congressional roundtable, and notably, brought up the need for food choices, such as the hot meals program for the elderly, to better be able to take into account the local culture and not be one-size-fits-all nationwide – input that caught the interest of Chairman Jim McGovern, leading to more discussion from the panel on finding ways to improve that aspect of federal nutrition.
In 2020, Amata was part of a bipartisan effort to call on the USDA to better include small farmers and crop diversity such as tropical harvests in their efforts and investments, along with the major U.S. crops.