Farmer harbours no regrets

By Aruna Lolani and Fetalai Tuilulu’u ,

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DESTINED TO WORK THE LAND: Jeffery Lilomaiava, 56, of Safune Savai’i and Tuana’i.

DESTINED TO WORK THE LAND: Jeffery Lilomaiava, 56, of Safune Savai’i and Tuana’i. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

It was not an easy decision for Jeffery Lilomaiava to move to his farm at Tuana’i-uta where he lives alone.

But looking back now after seven years, Jeffery says he has no regrets.

The man originally from Safune Savai’i said his plantation has singlehandedly raised his children and family.

But he credits his parents for laying the foundation. 

“My plantation is a family plantation,” he told the Village Voice. 

“It’s been in our family for a long time.  It exists because of my great-grandfather and great grandmother who started it. My grandparents carried it on, my father and mother did the same.

“And we have continued it. This is how my family survives from day to day.

“It’s hard work but it’s worth it.

Jeffery said it was his destiny to follow his parents’ footsteps. 

“The plantation has been the main source of income for our family in the past years and it was located where we lived at Safune Savai’i. 

“We owned a shop and bus business back then all because of the plantation.

“Ever since I married and moved here to Tuana’i I didn’t just forget about it. 

“I brought with me the ideas and tricks my parents used and now we are benefitting from it.

 “I don’t just depend on taro I have other crops like yams, bananas because this is a big piece of land.”

With the crop sales every harvest period the father says it’s just enough.  

“My family save enough and have enough every time we sell our fruits,” he said.

“This is why I want to challenge everyone to work the land. Trust me, I know it works.

 “We don’t need jobs we don’t need a lot of money but what we need is to work our land. This is our gift.”

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