When you talk about plantation, you talk about money – Foma’i

By Ilia L. Likou and Sina Filifilia Sevaaetasi ,

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MONEY BURIED iN THE SOIL: Foma’i Saifoloi from Faleula

MONEY BURIED iN THE SOIL: Foma’i Saifoloi from Faleula

A family that plows together stays together. 

That’s the philosophy of 29-year-old, Fomai Saifoloi, who is in the budding stages of his career and building his family.  

Mr. Saifoloi is a self-made entrepreneur, working on his family plantation to support his family.

He recounted his journey of self-discovery to the Village Voice.  

 “After school, I went and worked at one of the company’s in town and I tell you what, my pay was really bad. It was a waste of time,” he said.  

“That’s when I quit my job, stayed and worked on our plantation; personally I rather work here and expect a big amount of money rather than go to work.”

“Another reason why I decided to quit working is the fact that I would probably have to take out loans which would be so much for me to pay but I want to raise up my family and provide for them to the best of my abilities.

Instead of looking outward for help, he looked down to the piece of fertile land beneath his feet and dug his heels in.  

“Our plantation covers one acre of land and it’s really big and what we’re working on now is to clear the other side and continue on,” he said.  

“Every morning, we start around six oclock trying not to catch the sun.   We finish around two to three o’clock and return home to prepare our family’s dinner.

“As I’ve told you before I’d rather sweat on the land than going to work in an office.

However, working the plantation is not a one man job, his entire family contributes to cultivating the land.  He said, “It’s all about working together and give all your best.”

Of course, cultivating the plantation as massive as his, is a venture in itself.  It requires money and man power to work the land and the upkeep.  

He said, “When you talk about plantation, you talk about money.”

“I totally disagree when people say, ‘just throw it on the ground’,”

“That’s not right, we need money to buy kiapula, fence, chemicals and other stuff.”

Despite the initial cost, Mr. Saifoloi is content with life on the plantation.  Even with the cost of living sky rocketing, he knows he will always be able to put food on the table through his work.  

“Life isn’t easy anymore,” he said.  

“Knowing that the plantation will provide meals and money for your family is the best thing ever.”

 “We’re having those days where the cost of living is climbing up the ladder everyday, and we don’t have to just sit around and wait for a miracle.

  “As one family, we work together, to build us up.”

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