NEWS

Joseva Diva Starts His Farming Journey After Prison

“I chose to work on the farm because when I return to my village I will be engaged in farming,” he said.
15 Jun 2019 09:36
Joseva Diva Starts His Farming Journey After Prison
Joseva Diva with his mother, Taina Vakaloloma, at their home in Naisausau, Namara, Tailevu on June 13, 2019. Photo: Ilaijia Ravuwai

Namara youth Joseva Diva from Naisausau Village, has started a new life after he was released from the Korovou Corrections Centre.

He was sentenced to 18 months in jail in 2017 after he was found guilty of a robbery.

A month before his release he went through the Correction’s Rehabilitation of Ex-offenders (CARE) Programme.

“I chose to work on the farm because when I return to my village I will be engaged in farming,” he said.

Before his release, he was always visited by the Tailevu Care Committee member, Sekaia Muaduaduakibau, who is also from Namara.

Sekaia Muaduaduakibau, the Mata ni Tikina Namara and the council member of the Tailevu Community For Rehabilitation for Ex-Offenders in Namara, Tailevu during an interview on June 13, 2019. Photo: Ilaijia Ravuwai

Sekaia Muaduaduakibau, the Mata ni Tikina Namara and the council member of the Tailevu Community For Rehabilitation for Ex-Offenders in Namara, Tailevu during an interview on June 13, 2019.
Photo: Ilaijia Ravuwai

Mr Muaduaduakibau said before Mr Diva’s release, he had briefed the village chief and elders about the Yellow Ribbon programme and stressed the importance of villagers accepting Mr Diva back into the community.

Mr Diva was released on May 17, 2018.

On that morning Mr Muaduaduakibau said the village hall was decorated with yellow ribbons.

Namara chief, Turaga Na Roko Tui Veikau Josefa Kamikamica, joined the Naisausau elders to wait for Mr Diva.

It was a very emotional greeting by the vanua before Mr Diva was traditionally taken to his clan (mataqali).

Mr Diva said he was shocked to experience his acceptance back to his community.

A week after his release, Mr Diva started his dalo and yaqona farm.

He also planted vegetables for quick cash.

Next month he is hopeful of harvesting 1000 tausala.

He hopes to sell in bundles at a cost of about $25 a bundle or to be weighed at $5 a kilogram. He says he has also secured a market for both these options.

Additionally, he plans to sell lovo (baked in earth oven) dalo at a price range from $3-$10.

Farming programme

According to Mr Diva he plants dalo and yaqona on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. For Thursday and Friday he prepares the products to the market and this includes baking dalo on Friday afternoon.

He wakes up early in the morning, catches the 5am bus and gets off at the road to his farm. “I work from 5.30am to 12 noon and I’ll be back in the village at 1pm to do some house work.”

He has a total of 1500 yaqona and more than 2000 dalo on his farm right now. He hopes to expand this production even further after he was given eight more acres of land by his mataqali to venture further.

His mother, Taina Vakaloloma, said she was proud of what her son was doing after his release from Korovou.

Mr Muaduaduakibau said Mr Diva was the first in the province of Tailevu to be under the Tailevu CARE programme.

With just after one year and with his the progress, Mr Diva has also set a good example for ex-offenders not only in Tailevu but Fiji wide that they could live a happy life when given a second chance.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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