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Solar shines on Samoa farmers

I'umalo Clayton Simamao from the Samoa Farmers Association with solar panels

Apia, SAMOA — Samoan farmers are profiting from solar generators.

I'umalo Clayton Simamao from the Samoa Farmers Association said those who once had to travel long distances to charge their phones now had reliable access to power.

In a news release, the Samoa government said improved communication has streamlined coordinating the supply of produce, enabling farmers to take more opportunities for sales.

"We need to connect with the farmers in a span of 48 hours," I'umalo said.

"With these generators, now for many of the isolated farmers, their phones are always on. When I call and say, 'I have an order, we need it ready by tomorrow,' they can do it."

The funding for the generators came from the Australian High Commission.

I'umalo said through this process, a lot of people are seeing the value of solar and other forms of clean energy.

He said the generators and associated connections had boosted morale.

"The farmers within our organization have real 'never say die' mentalities when it comes to farming, but they do face hardships," I'umalo said.

"Feeling less isolated through improved connection, both the attitudes and productivity of the staff living on the remote farming locations have been positively affected."

Looking ahead, I'umalo and the Farmers' Association board plan to explore further innovations that can build resilience and boost productivity.