NATION

Yaqona Farmer Laments Loss Of Crops

Despite the damage the plants suffered, he is thankful that everyone in the village are safe and well.
07 Jan 2020 13:53
Yaqona Farmer Laments Loss Of Crops
Relatives helping Epeli Boteanakadavu (first from left) clean his harvested yaqona in Tavuki Village, Kadavu.

A yaqona farmer in Kadavu is devastated that his plans of building a new house has been blown away by Tropical Cyclone Sarai.

Tavuki villager Epeli Boteanakadavu had planted yaqona in mid 2018, with the hope of harvesting the crops next year, to buy materials and build a new family home.

If all things did go to plan, he was expecting to fetch at least $40,000 from the harvest.

“I had planted 700 mounds of yaqona, with four cuttings a mound, specifically for my new house,” Mr Boteanakadavu said.

“Everything was going as planned, but when Category 2 Tropical Cyclone (TC) struck the island it damaged the 700 mounds I had planted for my new house.”

Despite the damage the plants suffered, he is thankful that everyone in the village are safe and well.

Mr Boteanakadavu said he checked on his farm a day after the cyclone passed the island.

After learning of the damage, he asked his family to help him harvest the damaged plants.

From the crops harvested so far, he has 50 kilograms of roots (waka) being dried out under the sun and a buyer would probably buy it for $100 per kg. This same buyer, Mr Boteanakadavu said was buying the rhizome of the plant (lewena) for $80 a kg and the peelings (civicivi) for $35 per kg.

Money earned from this harvest, he said would be deposited for his new home.

Mr Boleanakadavu is married to Ranadi from Nabukelevu Village.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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