SUNBIZ

Future In Farming, Says Dropout

Dropping out of school three years ago was more of a blessing for 21-year-old Ropate Ratakele than a curse. The Tavuki lad from Taveuni who was named the 2017 Young
28 May 2017 11:00
Future In Farming, Says Dropout
Young Farmer of the year Ropate Ratakele receiving his award from chief guest Divisional Planning Officer Alipate Bolalevu. Photo: Josaia Ralago

Dropping out of school three years ago was more of a blessing for 21-year-old Ropate Ratakele than a curse.

The Tavuki lad from Taveuni who was named the 2017 Young Farmer of the year in the North said he has not looked back ever since.

Growing up from a farming background, the eldest of three children said farming was in his blood.

“When I dropped out of school I knew I wanted to start a farm because it was one thing that I knew most about and I loved it,” Mr Ratakele said.

“And because we already have land in the village, I decided to make use of it.”

He now farms about six acres of land which he grows dalo and yaqona in.

“I recently sold one and half acres of my yaqona farm to an interested party and I was able to earn $48, 000,” Mr Ratakele said.

“I would like to urge my peers who have dropped out of school and currently looking for a job, please try out farming. It is very rewarding.”

A similar message was shared by the 2017 Best Yaqona Farmer Bart Simpson who said that yaqona farming was a significant way for Fijians to earn money.

Mr Simpson, who is originally from Sydney, Australia, has been residing in Fiji for the past eight years working at the world-renowned Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Savusavu.

Mr Simpson started farming yaqona three years ago which has now extended into a 50 acre farm.

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

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