June 7, 2024

Agriculture Teacher at Gau Secondary School in Lomaiviti, Vasenai Bawaqa said the recent installation of the school greenhouse nursery will certainly boost farming for the school students.

“This will especially benefit 57 boarders who are currently enrolled at the school and rely on supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, and root crops.

“We are situated on an island where the ferry comes once a week with supplies. Connectivity and worsening road conditions is a problem so with the established nursery we don’t have to rely on food from Viti Levu but can look forward to healthy and nutritious meals for our students with produce harvested straight from the farm,” she smiled.

She added that not only will it benefit students but will also be a source of income for the school by selling seedlings to nearby villages and providing the villages with surplus vegetables from their school garden.

“It will be a new learning experience for students and we are looking forward to when we will start using it, we have always thought of building one and because of the location of the school, we are grateful to the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways for thinking of us and the future generation of Gau,” she said.

“We will raise fruit trees and vegetables as its initial purpose and will also try raising yaqona. Gau is a yaqona-producing island and students are taught from Years 9 to 13 on how to start their own business. So the nursery is a great start to this venture and once we have planted our school garden, the plan is to sell the surplus seedlings to the villages and help them to also plant healthy fruits and vegetables.”

“All the seeds that need transplanting will be raised under a suitable environment and I am sure that it will grow healthy and ready for distribution in our school garden and in the nearby villages.”

Senior Technical Assistant (Horticulture) Sitiveni Ramatalei thanked the community, teachers, and students for assisting in the building of the nursery.

“It is encouraging to see the unity in the community and their efforts in lending a helping hand towards the only high school in Gau. I am sure that when they start harvesting from the school garden, they will truly learn to appreciate farming,” added Mr. Ramatalei.

“Eating healthy and nutritious food will assist in the growth of the students and will enable them to perform well in school.”

The nursery is an initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways through it Commercial Agriculture Development Program.