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Ali relishes newfound passion

Ali relishes newfound passion
Farmer Azad Ali with his wife, Badrul Nisha, at their fish pond at Marasa, Nadi, on March 29, 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
April 01
12:24 2018

For decades Azad Ali was involved in sugarcane farming, something he took up from his father.

But years down the road, the 56-year-old finally realised that the money earned from his 44-acre sugarcane farm was not enough to cater for his family expenses compared with 20 years ago.

The father-of-two children then turned his farmland into something he now enjoys doing – that is livestock and pineapple farming.

Even though Mr Ali is now more focused on cultivating pineapple and breeding livestock he still uses three acres of land for sugarcane farming. His livestock farm has 70 goats and sheep.

He also ventured into fish farming, which enables him to earn around $2000 in one harvest.

“I use 15 acres of land to plant pineapples and in a year I can harvest around 15 to 20 tonnes of pineapple which is sold at the market,” Mr Ali added.

“It was through government funding that I was able to become a successful farmer.

“With my pineapple farm Government assisted me with a bulldozer to help me plough the land. If I had to do it on my own it will cost around $1000 and they helped me with my fish pond,” Mr Ali added.

He advised farmers to take advantage of government assistance in the agriculture sector.

“Sometimes sugarcane farmers have the tendency to blame Government when things don’t go right, especially when they aren’t earning a lot. My only advice to them is to look around them and see ways they can utilise their land. I was doing sugarcane farming for nearly 15 years,” Mr Ali said.

“I knew that I wasn’t earning a lot from sugarcane farming. People should understand that everything has its season. If you are stuck don’t sit there and wait for help, you get up and do something about it. I had never regretted what I am doing right now.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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