Farming knowledge proves priceless

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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WORK HARD AND WORK SMART: Fenika Fenika, 33, from the village of Tanumalala.

WORK HARD AND WORK SMART: Fenika Fenika, 33, from the village of Tanumalala. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

There is no denying the value of the many agricultural programmes driven by the government held recently.

Designed to assist farmers with their plantations, some of those programmes are beginning to bear fruits. For Fenika Fenika from the village of Tanumalala, these programmes have led him to a very successful life as a farmer.

Aged 33, Fenika own a small road-side vegetable stall where he sells a variety of well grown, healthy crops to those who stop by. “Right now living on vegetable and crops great,” he told the Village Voice.

“The reason why we built this little roadside market is because there is no one in my family that can take our crops to bigger markets in town.”

“So since bigger markets are out of the picture I have been looking at ways to make money from this area and the only thing I can think of is this little business I have going on right now.”

According to Fenika, the land in Samoa is perfect for farming and with the right knowledge; you can make a lot from it.

“The land we are living on is very good for growing crops,” he said.

“We still have little problems with crop diseases ruining some of our plants and that is why I try and attend as many agricultural programmes as possible in order to understand how to be a good farmer. Everything is very good for my family and I. We haven’t been doing this for long so we are still figuring things out.”

Fenika works very hard on his farm because he knows, there is no room for sloppiness when looking after loved ones.

“I know that my family relies on my strength so there is no time for weakness,” he said.

“I work a hard and honest life to provide for my family. I was employed before but that didn’t work out and I have noticed there is a huge difference from being employed and what I am doing now.”

“One of the differences is that those who are employed have to wait a week or two before they get their pay but as a farmer the money depends on you.”

“The crops I grow would take three months to grow and within those three months I try and go to the ocean to make money while I wait.”

“It’s that simple, I can make money as I wait for the crops to grow and then I’ll make even more money. I am also my own boss.”

Fenika is able to make enough a day from the smart planning he does with his farming.

“I am able to make about $30-$50 a day,” he said.

“That’s just an average but there are other days where I can make a so much more than that. Sometimes I don’t even consider this work because it’s easy; no one bosses me around so my daily activities are up to me.”

“Every Sunday I will plan my whole week and which includes getting everything ready for my kids and my farming duties.”

“There is some morning where I would just rest and know that I have covered that day with my family.”

And on the subject of the high cost of living, Fenika says it’s just another challenge to make you work a little harder.

“The cost of living has been increasing very high,” he said.

“But I don’t see that as a problem. As the price for things increase I see it as an opportunity to lift up the level of work that I do to match how expensive life is.”

“I know that we will suffer if the cost of living increases and I just laze around. Everything with farming can be calculated which makes things easier.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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