Make agriculture a priority
The government should walk the talk.
If agriculture is the backbone of the economy, they should put their money where they mouth is.
So says Fili Fale of Leulumoega.
The 54-year-old farmer was planting crops in his plantation when the Village Voice approached him.
“I used to work before and I’ve been working for a long time,” he tells Village Voice.
“But we all come to a point in life where we feel our energy is not the same as when we were in our youth.”
“I felt I needed a rest so I decided to stay home and do this life as well as spending time with my 3 children.”
“I’ve been a farmer for a long time now, working to develop what I have now.”
“It’s an amazing sight isn’t it? To see the work of your own hands come to life.”
“Plantations are important to everyone, for me; because not only do I get to be my own boss but this is also work where I just take my time in doing without worrying about any deadlines.”
“It’s important because it provides us with food.”
“It’s important because it helps us make a little bit of money when needed.”
“And for me, I prefer selling at the market because there’s a lot of people and buyers for the products of the land.”
“I try selling it in the villages but there’s hardly anyone who’s interested in buying.”
“It’s a good kind of business but there’s a slight change nowadays because the money we get back then, was way more than what we get now.”
“I mean most of the time we can only manage to get $20 for a basket of taro because you know; there’s a lot of farmers now selling the same thing.”
“And what I’ve noticed is that a lot of people have left their jobs because they have come to realize how important plantations are for us in the future.”
“For me, with this kind of situation where there’s too many farmers, the best thing to do is use your plantation to get food for your family.”