NATION

Relocating Village Farmer: Change

A farmer for Narikoso, Ono, Kadavu has encouraged farmers to change their mindset and farming methods in a bid to acclimatise to changing weather conditions. Semesa Matanawa, who has been
20 Aug 2018 10:00
Relocating Village Farmer: Change
Semesa Matanawa showing his yaqona seedlings at his village in Narikoso, Kadavu, on August 19, 2018. Photo: Sheenam Chandra

A farmer for Narikoso, Ono, Kadavu has encouraged farmers to change their mindset and farming methods in a bid to acclimatise to changing weather conditions.

Semesa Matanawa, who has been farming yaqona and dalo since 2001, says because of climate change steps have to be taken to make crops more resilient.

Narikoso Village is being relocated because rising sea levels are eroding its shoreline.

“In my farm I have used 1000 potplants. 100 potplants I have to transfer after three months to the ground,” he said.

“However, if we plant directly in the soil, it will take us two to three times more effort to clean the farm.

“When I used potplants to transfer my seedlings, I hardly did any cleaning on my farm.”

Another reason for using the potplant method, Mr Matanawa said, was that seedlings were given enough nourishment to survive then when they were planted directly in the soil.

“I never put in manure after that. I encourage the farmers in Ono to  use this method of planting,” he said.

Mr Matanawa who is born and bred at Narikoso has been operating a shop, fishing business, dalo farm and yaqona farm.

He also sells pandanus leaves (voivoi), which women use to weave mats.

He has dabbled in the beche-de-mer business; from harvesting to selling until the Government put a ban on the trade of the marine species.

Although his village has been impacted by climate change, Mr Matanawa has slowly been working to build a resilient future for his family of five.

“I am preparing with food security in mind, so when I move to the new village, my family and I will be secure in terms of food and income. I will have enough money and food for supporting my family.”

At the age of 60, Mr Matanawa is still working hard to provide for his family and supporting his village.

“I am working hard because I have four boys so that they can draw inspiration from me,” he said.

Edited by Epineri Vula



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