Working the plantation is not everyone’s cup of tea.
First things that come to mind is the long hours in the sun, dirt, tiring work and more tiring work.
But according to Siaosi Kalepo Tanuvasa, from the village Siumu Sisifo, there’s absolutely nothing hard about it. Aged 49, Siaosi prides himself with a very big plantation surrounding his house.
“My family and I have been working this plantation for a long time,” he told the Village Voice.
“We have been on this land for three years now but we were at Sogi before. Having a plantation is really good money but it’s not as good as before.”
“I would go to the market and there is a lot of competition in selling these crops. We don’t worry too much about making money from the crops we grow.”
“My plantation provides us with food and when we’re in need of money then we just sell some taro on the side of the road; but the only important thing for us is having enough to eat from the plantation.”
Having direct access to your plantation is seen as a very helpful factor for Siaosi.
“One of the reasons why we moved from the coastal area to inland is because it was hard to have a plantation down there,” he said.
“We would have to walk inland where the plantation was and back again every day which is really hard to do in the sun.”
“Now it’s easier for us because we live right in the middle of where we work. I can work any time of the day; I just hop out of the house then straight to work.”
According to Siaosi, they once had a variety of crops but then felt that just focusing on taro would better suit him and his family.
“When we first moved here we would grow cucumbers, pumpkins and other crops because the soil was fertile,” he said.
“We then found out that Taro grows better on these soils so we are now focusing on just taro. We don’t use any chemicals because the soil is very good for growing anything up here.”
His advice to the people of Samoa is to simply get up and work smart to get what you want and need.
“My advice to all the people out there is to always use your common sense,” Siaosi said.
“If you have pieces of land with nothing on it then grow something. No matter how small your land is, if you work smart with what you have then you can make life a little easier for yourself.”
“With the right mindset then you can do anything. It’s totally up to you though because no one will come and force you to do anything; you have to take the initiative.”
“If you’re unemployed then your money will come from plantations. It can also be your source of food too.”
“My family has employed people but we don’t want to burden them so we work the land to help out. You can be employed and have a plantation to help you as well.”
“There’s nothing hard about it; our people have been doing this for a long time.”
Furthermore, having a plantation could bring you joy.
“Having a plantation is good for the peace of mind as well,” Siaosi said.
“When you start one up and it turns out good then you will feel really good. It will give you joy when you walk around and just marvel at the fruits of your labour.”