COCONUT AGRONOMIST: Fata Alo Fania and Senior Information Officer Mafutaga Tinifi of MAF standing among coconut plants. [Samoa Observer]

Students across Samoa planted coconut trees on Mondayto mark the first ‘Aso Toto Niu’ – a day dedicated to the replanting and sustaining of coconut trees.

The opening ceremonyfor the ‘Aso Toto Niu’ was held at Faleata Golf Course. It was opened by Reverend Elekosi Viliamu and the keynote address was given by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

At the ceremony, the Prime Minister, along with six representatives from Vaitele and Vaiusu Primary, planted a coconut tree to mark the occasion.

Mafutaga Tinifi, Senior Information Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) said that through ‘Aso Toto Niu’, the Government is trying to promote the planting of new coconut trees to replace older trees that have lost their productivity.

“The older the coconut tree, the less fruit it bears. Most of the coconut trees in Samoa are old, so there is a need to cut them down and replace them with new ones.”

The coconut tree, dubbed the ‘tree of life’, has many uses and the coconut oil especially, is highly sought after.

“The Government is currently researching into coconut oil being used as a substitute for petrol and in providing electricity in the future,” MsTinifi said.

“The higher the number of healthy coconut trees in Samoa, the greater the chances that these plans will fall through.”

The inclusion of children is an important factor in this initiative.

Every primary school student in Upolu and Samoa was encouraged to plant a coconut tree as part of MAF’s initiative to promote the planting of coconut trees.


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