Farming, not for the faint-hearted

Picture: Elenoa at her farm in Sabeto, Nadi.

Her love for farming made her take a bold step and take it up as a full time job.

Elenoa Daunivalu, 45, of Tabusuka Farm located near the zip line in Sabeto, Nadi is a new farmer. She only just began to take up farming on a semi-commercial scale on her recently leased land.

Originally, from Seaqaqa, Macuata, Elenoa has called Nadi her home for the last 20 years. But farming has always been part of her growing up, so taking it up full time was something she was ready to do.

She leased nine acres of land from Na Momo Levu na Tui Sabeto two years ago and at the moment is utilizing only four acres, growing a variety of both long term and short term cash crops. She plants kumala, yams, cassava, lemon grass, long beans, eggplants, bananas, pumpkins, pineapples, and has also harvested corn.

“I harvested kumala and made $1,500 from it. My long term plan is to go semi-commercial and I have received advice to concentrate on one or two commodities when I do.”

Elenoa urged other women who had yet to take up this venture, to do so.

 “Farming is a passion. Farming is not for the faint-hearted. It comes with perseverance and knowing that despite the hardships, you will face it with the belief that you will overcome it. With farming, there will be shortcomings, but overcoming it and moving on is key,” she explained.

 “It’s a very good feeling, when you plant things and you see it growing. It gives me that satisfaction to see things blossoming and coming into fruition,” Elenoa said.

“I grew to love it, as we always had a backyard garden when growing up. Farming was something that I inherited from my parents when we moved around as my dad was a civil servant,” she explained.

Like all farmers, she is at her farm by 6am daily working all day under the scorching sun with breaks taken in between for meals and discussions with her two farm hands, whom she has employed.

Whilst she has drums filled with water to assist with her farming, she says, it would be convenient for her if she has a drip irrigation system. She has done her research on this and found the ones readily available were not the ones she was after.

She maintains a clean farm and swears by the old proverb ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’.

Elenoa thanked the Ministry of Agriculture for assisting her with river bank preservation by providing fruit trees valued at $2,275, soil testing, and advisory services.