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Farming Makes a Different for Vasokoi.

Yaqona farming is proving to be a thriving business for Ovalau farmers.

The popularity of yaqona farming is boosted with the assistance provided for Government through its Rural Outer Islands Development (ROI) program.

The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development caught up with 43 year old Josefa Vasokoi during a recent tour to Ovalau to see how he has utilised his land resource for a sustainable living.

Mr Vasokoi took up farming at an early age for subsistence level, little did he realise that one day he would become one of the best yaqona farmer on the Island.

Now with six children and two grandchildren, Vasokoi believes that nothing is impossible if the heart is willing.

With his hardwork, they have formed a group on the island known as the Ligavata Yaqona group project.

Consisting of 9 members from the settlement of Wainikavika, Lovoni; the group had embarked on this initiative 3 years ago with the objective to utilise their land resource for a better living.

“We set our targets and work towards achieving those targets and we now reaping the reward of our commitment,” Vasokoi said with a smile.

Provincial Administrator, Lomaiviti – Kelepi Kubunameca said that the rural communities have a lot to contribute to the economic activity of the country.

With the abundant of resources available that can be turned into cash very quickly, all that is needed is innovation and Mr Kubunameca urged rural dwellers grab the opportunity in getting those small economic generating projects on the ground.

“Government is committed to developing our rural communities. The onus is on them to organise themselves while Government will come in to supplement what they already have at the community level in terms of farming equipment’s and others,” Mr Kubunameca added.

For Vasokoi, selling his yaqona is not a problem as the market is always there.

“Market is not a problem for us. For a month, I normally sell around 30kg of yaqona which gives me a monthly income of about $2 500.00 - $3,000.00,” Vasokoi proudly said.

Mr Vasokoi’s journey of success is because of his dedication and commitment.

“I set my goals and I ensure that those objectives are achieved. One of them is to see that my children become successful in the different paths that they have chosen,” he said.

Vasokoi also acknowledge the assistance and the regular visits by Government official on the island to the Ligavata Yaqona group project.

“We are grateful for their visits and monitoring of our farms and always giving us technical advice to ensure that we are on the right track with our farming programmes.”

Vasokoi is hopeful that his fellow villagers and other rural dwellers will be able to follow the initiative taken by the Ligavata Yaqona Project group and to pursue farming with commitment and dedication.

“I hope that more and more youths will wake up and realise that there is so much to earn if the land is utilised well. The opportunity needs to be unlocked and it is just waiting for them,” he said.

Vasokoi is still hard at work on his farm and says that as long as he has the energy, farming will continue to play an important part of his life.