SUNBIZ

19 Women Take On Tobacco Farming In The Sigatoka Valley

One of the major assistance provided, and which benefits the women farmers, is the assistance given by British American Tobacco Fiji to those cannot afford to prepare their land.
04 Jun 2020 12:50
19 Women Take On Tobacco Farming In The Sigatoka Valley
Mere Tura (left) at her farm at farm at Vunarewa in the Sigatoka Valley, With her is fellow tobacco farmer Taina Waqadrau on June 3, 2020. Photo: Charles Chambers

Tobacco farming has seen 19 women from the Sigatoka Valley take up the challenge and draw benefits from it.

One of the women, Taina Waqadra, 66, has been tobacco farming at Mavua Village in the Sigatoka Valley for the past 20 years and knows the benefits that has derived out of “not so hard work.”

The Qoma, Tailevu, native has lived in the area after getting married and has no regrets as the land has become part of her.

“Tobacco farming has been beneficial to me in many ways and that includes the assistance provided by the company,” Mrs Waqadra said.

One of the major assistance provided, and which benefits the women farmers, is the assistance given by British American Tobacco Fiji to those cannot afford to prepare their land.

Mrs Waqadra said this assistance was of great help as they did not have to worry because this work by BAT was deducted from their earnings after four months.

Mrs Waqadra said her tobacco earnings has seen her buy items for her home which she said the sales from vegetables could not do.

She said there were about 36 tobacco farmers from the village and surrounding area and the majority are women.

“We see the company trusts us with the work of planting tobacco,” she quipped.

“The other thing is we do not have to go and look for markets for the tobacco as the company takes care of it. There is not much work to be done as we keep the farm clean,” she said.

“This has been a big help for my family and I am now looking after my great-grandchildren as I did with my children and grandchildren.”

Last year she earned $7000 after deductions and that has been her highest payout for tobacco farming.

Mere Tavu

Meanwhile, Mere Tavu, who hails from Namatakula Village along the Queen’s Highway and has been at Mavua Village since she got married has also taken a liking to tobacco farming.

She said she earned $4800 last year and was aiming to do better this year.

Feedbackcharles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper