SUNBIZ

Nadi Nursery Suffers $130K Damage

More bad news for our agriculture sector as one of the major nurseries in Nadi also sustained damage close to $130,000 as a result of Tropical Cyclone Winston. The Devesh
27 Mar 2016 11:35
Nadi Nursery Suffers $130K Damage
Devesh and Bharos Nursery owner, Devesh Nath (left) shows parts of his nursery at Votualevu, Nadi, which was damaged during Tropical Cyclone Winston the past month. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

More bad news for our agriculture sector as one of the major nurseries in Nadi also sustained damage close to $130,000 as a result of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The Devesh and Bharos Nursery at Salavau, Votualevu, in Nadi was not spared from the devastation caused by the cyclone on February 20/21.

Owner Devesh Nath confirmed about 70 per cent of the stock was damaged during the cyclone with only 30 per cent being saved as it was transported to Votualevu Public School for shelter.

Damage included to stock of seedling and structural damage as well.

Mr Nath, 29, founded the business in 2008. He has a 38-acre farm where he used about eight acres to produce vegetables for the export market.

“We could say we had a very bright future in agriculture if it was not for the disaster,” he said.

“Overall we have been doing very well with the agricultural sector and we have been awarded a few times.”

The nursery is among 17 project nurseries that are used by the European Union and Pacific Community (SPC) to support the rehabilitation for the Fijian farmers to get back to their feet.

“We also do contract for ISKA programme and reforestation for the European Union as well,” Mr Nath said.

“The past year for reforestation, close to 120,000 seedlings were dispatched from here. We are looking at progressing to where we were in the agricultural sector before the cyclone.”

 

Background

In 2009, Mr Nath registered his company with an initial capital funding by his dad of $40,000.

Now he employs 15 employees – 10 full time, three casuals and two students. Six years later, the nursery had the capacity to produce 240,000 potted seedlings and 450,000 seedlings in trays at one time.

Mr Nath was also assisted by a well-known non-government organisation (NGO), the Market Development Facility and the Ministry of Agriculture.

His business grew steadily, and in 2013, he was named Young Farmer of the Year during the 2013 Crest Agricultural Show in Lautoka.

“Some 300 farmers from Sigatoka and towards Nausori get seedlings from my nursery, which I think has a big impact on Fijian agriculture,” Mr Nath said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama the past month praised the initiative of Mr Nath, being young Nadi farmer, who is fast becoming a successful businessman.

 

Edited by: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj



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