Farmer happy with show exposure
Savaiinaea Ieremia was one of the local farmers that showcased his produce at the 2018 Agriculture and Fisheries Show-Upolu at Malaefatu Park, Sogi yesterday.
The event provided a platform for those in the agriculture and fisheries sectors and included farmers, government ministries and NGOs, who showcased their expertise in their respective fields and displayed local produce or livestock farms.
Savaiinaea said he was happy to be part of the event.
“It is significant to have a day like this especially dedicated to farmers so that they can have the chance to showcase their crops and also so other farmers are aware of a variety of produces.
“I am showcasing produces but I am selling my bananas some for $20 and others for $30 and my taro for $20. I sell my products at the Fugalei market and also sometimes in front of Frankie Mall at Vaitele,” he said.
The 59-year-old from Ululoloa said that he became a farmer through his parents and after his retirement in 2014 he focused on being a farmer.
“I like being a farmer all for the reasons of being self-employed you get to be your own boss.
“My daily schedule from Monday to Friday is tending to my plantation but there are only two days that are allocated to selling my harvests and that is Saturday and Sunday.
“Some of the challenges faced are that I have no workers to assist me and the lack of equipment needed for farming,” he added.
But with the country now set to enter the cyclone season, he expressed his concerns and its impact on his crops.
“I pray that our country does not get affected by yet another cyclone, because we farmers suffer such great losses from it and bananas are one of these crops that always undergo damages, which is why I have other crops lined up like taro or cocoa as a backup plan,” he stated.
Savaiinaea added that with the new banana exports to New Zealand, it provided an opportunity for Samoans in terms of overseas markets.
“The process which takes place in maintaining these bananas is pricy meaning it requires a lot of financial backing through purchasing necessary equipment needed to care for the bananas.
“But for us small local farmers we cannot access such opportunities due to financial difficulties.
“I think that the government should focus more on the individual farmers instead of the organizations which so many farmers have joined,” he added.