Making it big, plantation style

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou 15 September 2016, 12:00AM

Siaunofo Bridget, 35, from the village of Faleula-uta and her husband have proven that you can make close to four figure earnings from tending the land properly.

Working from dawn till dusk, the couple grow a variety of crops on their land before selling them at their road-side market.

“My husband works really hard in the plantation,” Siaunofo explained to the Village Voice yesterday.

“His work starts on the patch of land nearby and that’s where we get everything we are selling in this stall.

“Every day we can make up to $100 but if not many people buy our vegetables then it can drop below $50. Today I know that I have already made about $100 but I haven’t counted yet.

“But on very good weeks we make close to $1000, if the cabbages are delivered and customers buy from here.”

The hard work begins early in the morning but for Siaunofo, it is all well worth it.

“My husband goes to his plantation very early in the morning then he takes a break before continuing again at 1p.m.” she said.

“We also grow cabbages but we don’t sell it in our stall, we deliver them. My husband would take his wheel barrow in the morning and will return not long after with all of it sold.

“There are many shops down the road who always buy the cabbages so my husband takes it to them and then they resell it to customers for profit.”

Even if they aren’t planting any crops, there is still a lot of hard work that needs to be done for the couple.

“If there’s no work then we just weed the field and burn the grass,” Siaunofo said.

“The only form of fertilizer I use is chicken faeces which I spread around out plantation; we also use rotting wood chips. We don’t use any chemicals in our plantation.

“We have been doing this for a very long time. We started off with small things like pawpaw and now we have a bigger variety. Our bundles of peas and pumpkins were all sold yesterday.

Out of all the variety of crops, Siaunofo says that cabbages are their quickest source of income. This is simply because of the crop growing time being only three months and then the sale time taking a few hours.

According to Siaunofo, her family is doing very well with the money they are making at their small market stall.

“I have three children with one of them already in school,” she said.

“The other two are still too young to be schooling. This money is good to take care of our small family, everything is going very well with us.

“To me, hard working labour workers are better than people who are employed. If you work the land well then you will have a source of food and a source of income.”

And not a cent is wasted.

“The money we make is used for things we really need,” Siaunofo said.

“We extended the water pipes to our house so we have water. We made some more money and we bought tin. We are making every last cent count for our family.”

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou 15 September 2016, 12:00AM

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