Family lives off peanuts

A family at Aele is living off peanuts as their source of income.

Ioane Paulo, 61, says he makes more than those who have white collar jobs when he harvests his peanuts.

“I earn more than $700 a week when the harvest day comes,” he said.

“Some people will not believe me, but sometimes I get more than $1,000 a week because I do deliveries to certain shops that have already ordered their peanuts.”

The Village Voice team met the father of six making his way to Vaitele for their New Year shopping yesterday.

“Well I don’t work, but I have a peanut plantation and that is my family’s source of income,” he said.

“My other children are in New Zealand and they also help out so that’s good, but I don’t really rely on them because I know that living overseas is much harder.

“Money is everything in those countries, but at least for us we have our plantation to turn to if we don’t have money, so that’s why I don’t really depend on them.”

Paulo added life is tough, but it doesn’t mean that it will affect him and his family.

“I know we are struggling with so many things, but it doesn’t mean we will let these struggles bring us down,” he said.

“We have to overcome it all.

“Yes, cost of living is sky rocketing and it’s up to a point where our people cannot afford goods and services.

“However, as for me I can’t really complain because I don’t have a job and this is exactly why I don’t want to work because I know I can earn a lot from my peanuts than getting a job.

“It’s hard work I tell you, starting from making the soil soft, then comes the planting and make sure nothing will affect the growth of the peanuts.

“Then comes the waiting, it’s a three months wait for the peanuts to fully come out right and it requires a lot of patients, but it’s okay because I know come the day of reaping, it’s a lot of money.

Paulo said the money he earns caters for his family and their commitments to the church and village. 

“And what’s even more exciting is that it’s enough to care and provide for my family for the next three months.”

 “That money will go into caring for my children and then the church and the village commitments and after all that, we would still have enough to get by in the next three months.

“So I am the living proof that despite the hardship we face in life, I believe we can overcome it with determination and hard work.”

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