At the village of Falevao, 52 year old Filiga Esau was out working in his plantation.
“It provides a job for myself and livelihood for a lot of people who live at this location.
“We have been in the plantation since the year of 2000, that’s when my father started his plantation of these
“He challenged me to start one on my own, that’s why we decided to start with this one.
“This plantation is about 10 hectares,” he said
“For me it was a challenge, it’s not an easy job; it’s not a job that anybody will do especially with the huge piece of land to work on.”
But Filigia finds it hard to work because of the expensive cost of chemicals.
“I believe chemicals are the only a short-term solution.
“And they are far too expensive nowadays.
“The plantation is all we have, and if we can’t afford the $195 for the chemicals, we can’t afford the everyday life.
“This is the only problem, sometimes we loan some money from our relatives to buy the chemicals, but with the 10 hectares of land of plantation we really need help.
“Being sustainable in the long run, we can grow, we can improve the yield but to be able to sustain this is not easy without chemicals.
“As we know the productive life cycle of the plantation is about eight months, but then if we can’t afford the chemicals to help the plantation then that would be the end of our family.
“We have families and kids overseas, but we only get help when we have fa’alavelave, which I understand because they have their own bills to pay.
“This is why I personally ask the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to reconsider the cost of chemicals please!
“Maybe one farmer is doing well because they work or someone else is helping him with the chemicals, but I don’t have anyone to depend on and all I need is a decrease in the chemical price.
“The expensive cost of chemicals makes life difficult.
“The government has to make a regulation instead of forcing more and more farmers to work on plantations. “
If you want to help or advise Filiga Esau, he can be contacted on 7226219.