Farmers need incentives
If you rely on the plantation for survival every day, you should be okay.
But if you are looking to make a bit more money, you’ll need the government to step up to the plate to provide some incentives for farmers to continue to work hard.
Such incentives should include subsidising the costs of equipment and the necessary materials to develop plantations into commercialised operations.
That’s the opinion from Talapu Levave.
The 45-year-old from Fasitoo-Uta firmly believes that farming is the way to make a decent living but with a little bit of a push from the government, Samoans can become millionaires by expanding their operations.
The father of five works on his plantation every day. There he has taro and vegetables he sells to provide for his family.
“The plantation provides us money,” he said.
“We sell our produce once a week or twice and sometimes we earn more than $300 to $400tala.
“We sell different types of vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbages, carrots and others at the market.
“Some people place orders with us when they have special occasions.”
Talapu said the money he makes is used to pay for his children’s fees and provide for their daily needs.
“Ultimately I want my kids to have a better life. It is why I push them to school.”
Compared to other families who are really struggling, Talapu said his family is doing fine.
“We only spend our money when it comes to faalavelave, village and church donations, which costs us lots of money but we are used to it.
“All of the money we use for our fa’alavelave comes from the plantation.”
So what’s an average day for Talapu?
“It’s an early start so I can beat the heat,” he said.
“Farmers know the best times to work are at day break or at sunset. That’s when it’s nice and cool. It’s very hard to work in the hot sun in the middle of the day.”
As for the money they get, Talapu said they are grateful.
“Even though we are struggling, whatever we have, we are thankful. We have food every day and that’s what’s important.
“Living here is peaceful and safe, the air is perfect and we have no problems at all.”
Talapu hopes his story motivates other people especially the fathers who laze around and don’t work.