Teacher vouches for benefits of taro plantations

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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LIFE IS NO LONGER EASY, WORK HARDER SAMOA: Felorita Lefa, 38, from the village of Lefaga.

LIFE IS NO LONGER EASY, WORK HARDER SAMOA: Felorita Lefa, 38, from the village of Lefaga.

Lefaga and Faleaseela is known for having some of the best taro on island.

It’s something Felorita Lefa, of Lefaga, knows very well and she believes her fellow villagers should look to take advantage of.

Aged 38, Felorita works as a teacher while her husband tends the family plantation.

“Yes I get a decent pay but it is nothing compared to what you can get from a plantation,” she told the Village Voice.

“As I work, my husband stays home and works on the plantation. When I bring my pay home it’s gone in an instant because there are always so many things we need to spend it on.

“But if you take taro just once to sell then it’s possible to bring home about $400 in one day. That’s why I say that the wages of people in Samoa is nothing compared to what a farmer can get.”

Felorita admits that her family has all sorts of struggles but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a decent plantation.

“The struggle my family has is the same as many other families,” she said.

“We have trouble with trying to make ends meet the little we have. We have a lot of obligations in the village and when it comes to the children’s school fees then we struggle.

“We are lucky to have a small plantation we can get food from and if we don’t have sugar for the day then we can always sell a few crops to earn money for that.

“So to me, a plantation is one of the ways out of struggles.”

One thing Felorita is adamant about is how expensive life has become which is another big struggle for the family.

“My husband has been developing our small plantation since 2014,” she said.

“I have three children and the plantation is what we use mostly to take care of them and all their needs. With my pay not being enough, the plantation picks up the slack.

“Another big problem is that life is getting more and more expensive. When I get $100 a day then it’s almost as if it’s just $1.

“It takes one day to go through $100 because the things found at shops are a bit too expensive.”

But no matter how much the family suffers, the answer always lies in how hard one works.

“That’s why my husband and I work so hard, life is too expensive,” Felorita said.

“There’s no point in sitting around and complaining. Even if you don’t have a job then keep you hand moving and plant some crops to make life easier.

“You won’t get anywhere if you don’t work hard. My message to everyone is that life isn’t easy, so learn stay strong and keep working.

“Another important thing to know is how to manage your money wisely.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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