Buying a car with vegetables

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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SAMOA SHOULD START TURNING TO VEGETABLES TO MAKE A LIVING: Atoa Chang, 53, from the village of Aleisa.

SAMOA SHOULD START TURNING TO VEGETABLES TO MAKE A LIVING: Atoa Chang, 53, from the village of Aleisa.

Looking for a car?

Grow vegetables and sell them.

That’s the advice from Atoa Chang of Aleisa who is baffled with how clueless some are with how big you can make it through vegetables sales.

Aged 53, Atoa says she has even been able to buy a car from money saved up from her roadside vegetable stall.

“Right now the family lives off of our plantation,” she told the Village Voice.

“Our lives depend on the crops we grow. When we first started off we didn’t sell many but now we bring about 50 bundles of beans, pumpkins, egg plants and many others.

“We can make up to $100 a day and some days we could make up to $300. We have about 30 acres which we use to grow our crops and that’s not enough.”

According to Atoa, there is so much money in the fertile soil of Samoa.

“I know that the plantation is where the money is for many families,” she said.

“The problem with us in Samoa is that not many people want to work the land. Growing root crops is alright but if you want fast money then you should grow vegetables.

“Cabbages, cucumber, peas and other vegetables will get you money really quickly and it’s easy to grow.  My family has been relying on my plantation for 20 years now.”

Even after doing so much already with the money saved up over the years, Atoa says they still have plans to further develop their business.

“We have done so much with the money we have earned,” she said.

“We have managed to save up for a car, we have put our children through school and we have also managed to make a big saving because we are planning to do a proper business.

“We want to develop our vegetable stall because it’s really good money.”

Atoa also admits that the money her four children get from their jobs is much less than what she makes from her vegetable stall.

“My family consists of just my husband and me with our seven children,” she said.

“Four of my children are currently working and the rest are still in school. My employed children also help out with their pay.

“To tell you the truth, the money we make from selling vegetables is more than the pay my children get. They get about $150 every week but I can make about $300 in a day.

“I always tell my children the importance of having a plantation. A job isn’t forever but a plantation is and you can do so much in the long run with a farm.”

Even with all that she makes from vegetable sales, Atoa says she does go through a few problems within the family.

“My husband is a Taiwanese and he helps me with my plantation,” she said.

“We go through some problems because he doesn’t understand the fa’asamoa and when the family has a fa’alavelave, he makes it hard for me to help out.

“My family doesn’t understand that we can’t abandon our culture and family. When we need something then they are the ones who will try and help us out. “

© Samoa Observer 2016

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