Debt free with a property and assets thanks to farming

Picture: Mustak (m) with his daughter Aleemah Khan (l) checking on their beehives.

Debt-free with assets including property consisting of two homes, vehicles, and farm machinery amounting to $100k was something Mustak Khan knew he would not achieve if he remained working at his 8am – 5pm day job.


The 42-year-old of Waiwai, Ba, resigned and took up farming. 14-years later he has achieved what he thought was unattainable – being his own boss, debt free, running a successful farming business, expanding his home, with assets – all made possible through farming, specifically pineapple and honey.


“I started with ten bee hives and 2,000 pineapple suckers and now I have close to six acres of pineapples and close to 120 bee hives. Farming enabled me to pay off this land, build my house and buy my car,” he explained.


Mustak makes about $40k net profit annually which he adds, he re-invests into his farm. He supplies both his pineapples and honey to one of the major supermarket chains. He sells his honey in bulk at $15/kilo.


Today, Mustak has fully utilized his six-acre land with pineapple farming and a portion is dedicated to bee-keeping for honey production. The latter is a family affair with children and wife also having their own boxes to maintain.


“My wife has her own boxes apart from the 120 boxes and my children also have their own boxes. I also helped my neighbors’s son who has his boxes too.”


The Ministry of Agriculture assisted Mustak with land preparation and provided advisory services including helping him with his Farm Plan as well as a Business Plan under the Farm Management Program.


The Business Plan supported his application for a COVID-19 government grant from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism, and Transport where he was successful in securing $7k to grow his honey production business.


“Everybody needs food. Even if you start off small to planting for food security, that’s ok. For my kids, I tell them I am not paying for their tertiary education. Their fees are already in their bank accounts and that is from the sale made from honey. So whatever they sell from their honey that goes directly to their bank accounts.”


Mustak is known in his neighborhood as someone who willingly helps his neighbors when they need it. For instance, he recently lent a helping hand to one of his neighbors who needed help to harvest his pineapples.


“I have reached out and helped many around Fiji. I am also involved with the Fiji Beekeepers Association with close to 7,000 members on Facebook. I was also Treasurer for the last four years.”


He plans to expand his pineapple farm with newly acquired land outside Ba Town, which he had just bought with his cousin. He has also started packaging his honey and at the moment his honey is plainly bottled. But he is looking towards value-adding this process by properly packaging this product.


Further, Mustak had supplied pineapple suckers to the Ministry early this year when the latter had called for Expressions of Interest in the provision of planting materials. From this exercise, he bought a new vehicle which again adds to his growing farm assets.