SUNBIZ

Working Smarter Pays Dividends For Lovolovo

Waisea Lovolovo, 56, is a true son of the soil. He worked as a Fiji Sugar Corporation field officer for 23 years from Lautoka to Rakiraki. Upon retirement he tills
01 Dec 2018 10:36
Working Smarter Pays Dividends For Lovolovo

Waisea Lovolovo, 56, is a true son of the soil.

He worked as a Fiji Sugar Corporation field officer for 23 years from Lautoka to Rakiraki.

Upon retirement he tills the land, owns and operates a four-hectare farm at Matadawa in Tavua’s Tagitagi sector.

So, all in all, he has worked the land for almost half his life … so much so that it has developed a very close bond with it.

However, it was what the Navuniivi, Ra, native has done on his farm that is earning him rave reviews.

Cane farm

Touring his farm this week, albeit on an unusually rainy Tuesday morning, you could clearly see the extent of his handiwork, row upon row of lush, green sugar cane.

“I am usually up from 5am and work until 10am on the farm. And then I rest and start again at 3pm and go until 6pm, during the planting season,” Mr Lovolovo said.

A sturdy well-built man he does not seem to be slowing down. During the planting season, he works on his own in the farm.

“I do all the planting myself,” Mr Lovolovo says.

And as a testament to this individual effort, sugar cane farming is keeping him fit and healthy.

He has only been farming cane for three years, but this year Lovolovo has managed to harvest 231 tonnes of cane, which is a 58 per cent increase from the previous year. And he credits his self-discipline and work ethic with this achievement.

“During the planting season, I minimise my grog drinking, I minimise my attendance at social gatherings at home or elsewhere and my commitment is full time on the farm,” he said.

A self-starter, his self-discipline is evident.

“I have a daily plan, a weekly plan, which I follow, during planting time”, he says.

FSC Chief Operating Officer Navin Chandra says, “it’s very encouraging to see success stories in sugar cane farming like this. It proves that sugar cane farming, when managed well, is financially very viable”.

FARM MANAGEMENT

Some vital drivers to his successful sugar cane farming include minimising gaps.

This year Lovolovo maximised the use of his land down to a tee. In between rows of planted cane, he managed to fit more cane, thus enhancing the use of his land area.

He is also very particular about the management and control of weeds on the farm.

This year, Mr Lovolovo was also one of the first growers to harvest his cane. And proudly all green cane.

He transported his cane all the way to the Lautoka Mill.

Faith

“I draw my strength from the Lord and as a family, we pray daily,” he said.

Mr Lovolovo credits his faith as an integral part of this life.

He is a lay preacher and this provides him great fortitude during challenging times.

TARGETS AND FUTURE

Lovolovo has set himself targets for the next three years and is confident he will achieve them.

As he says, “in this business, you either have to maintain your production or increase it. Planting is more expensive than ratoon cane, because you have to prepare the land, acquire a full set of seed cane and hire more labourers. My target for next year is 300 tonnes and I will do that by avoiding all gaps”.

Proving his financial acumen, Mr Lovolovo also engages in animal husbandry and he has 45 goats and ten cattle on his land. He also has rootcrops and vegetables that he sells, such as taro and taro leaves, duruka and bananas.

“The money I earn from selling my other produce and animals, I use to pay utilities and buy groceries. I don’t touch my sugar cane profits!”

He is in the process of acquiring two more sugar cane farms, not too far from his current farm and to operate these on a share-farming basis.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj




Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: