Organic vegetable garden path at Sataua

By Hyunsook Siutaia 16 May 2020, 12:00PM

An organic vegetable garden in Sataua, looked after by Reverend Toese Tu'ia and his wife, Pa'ilalo Tu'ia, has provided a pathway to healthy eating and extra income for the villagers. 

Mrs. Tu'ia said the farm is a youth project in partnership with the U.N.D.P. (United Nations Development Programme) and the M.N.R.E. (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment).

"We applied for a grant and waited for almost two years for it. When we didn’t get a response from U.N.D.P., we started seeking help from M.N.R.E.," Mrs. Tu'ia said

"After twomonths, M.N.R.E. responded and gave us vegetable seeds and other small tools for the farm. U.N.D.P. responded not long after and accepted our request and there we started off with planting cucumbers."

After the grant was given by UNDP, they had also funded the fence around the farm and was enlarged as well. The total grant from U.N.D.P. was about US$12,000.

A canteen was partially funded by different organizations as a spot for the Women's Committee and the youth who work on the vegetable garden to sell the vegetables.

According to Mrs. Tu'ia, the farm has been very successful, it has helped the youth provide for their families, for the village and church and earned the income. Vegetable seedlings were also distributed to families so they can grow their own vegetable gardens.

Healthy eating and wellness were also emphasised by Mrs. Tu'ia during the interview as she says that she has seen health problems within the village and so she wanted inspiration for everyone. 

"When we came to be pastors here we saw quite a number of people who have NCDs (non-communicable disease) and even the youth. There we wanted people to eat healthily and grow and eat their own vegetables," she added

"What we try and do is encourage the kids to eat their veggies because I know most kids dislike eating vegetables."

Since the project started, the church has made about $5,000 in profit and plans to save and continue selling their grown vegetables as they have plans to renovate the church. 

By Hyunsook Siutaia 16 May 2020, 12:00PM

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