Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mission: Rescue Seeds


Protecting an island nation with little biodiversity from invasive creatures and plants is very critical to its resources. Some species like the southern U.S. vine, kudzu, and the myna bird were purposely introduced to address one problem only to later have disastrous effects. Others organisms like the African snail have made agriculture in some of the island’s regions almost impossible.
It is with good reason that Samoa has particularly stiff requirements for the importation of seeds or animals, yet either unknowingly or naively, people desperate to get seeds to grow vegetables try to illegally import them. Some get caught. Some have to go to the Quarantine Department in Apia to plead not to burn those innocent tomato, sunflower, pumpkin, and pea seeds so needed to help Samoa’s wish to grow more vegetables. Hopefully the Quarantine Officer takes umbrage on a not to be mentioned begging Peace Corps Volunteer to free the seeds.

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