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Mason Walks Away With Top National Agriculture Award

Eighty-year-old, Geoffrey Mason was all smiles yesterday as he walked away with the National Farmer of the Year award.
31 Oct 2020 10:05
Mason Walks Away With Top National Agriculture Award
Winners of the 2020 National Agriculture Farmers Awards with Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (sixth from right) and Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy (right) and Permanent Secretary Ritesh Dass at Koroivolu Park, Nadi on October 30, 2020. Photo: Maraia Vula

Eighty-year-old, Geoffrey Mason was all smiles yesterday as he walked away with the National Farmer of the Year award.

Mr Mason a farmer from Basala Estate, Nasomo, Vatukoula, Tavua, received his award during the 2020 National Agriculture Farmers Awards event at Koroivolu Park, Nadi.

Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was the chief guest at the event, accompanied by the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy and Permanent Secretary Ritesh Dass.

He is a commercial beef farmer and a crop farmer.

He is married with six children.

He has spent 68 years farming.

He started farming at the age of 12 years and left school at the age of 17.

He has a passion for farming that he lived in the hills of Nasomo alone from the age of 17 until he got married.

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He has a total of 1184 acres of Crown C land which he developed single handedly.

Mr Mason has a herd of more than 400, mostly Thoroughbred Limosine and SG crosses with an estimated value of over a million dollars.

He also has 62 Fiji Fantastic sheep aged between 3 months to four years.

He has 300 acres of well-established pasture. The paddocks are well maintained with six strains of fence lines.

He has a well designed stockyard with a loading bay. Mr Mason is a contracted supplier to Fiji Meats Limited.

Background

He managed to acquire a loan from Westpac in 1955 to develop his farm and continuously serviced his loan. He also acquired further loans from Fiji Development Bank, and Westpac to buy a D4 bulldozer, two 2×4 wheel drive tractors and vehicles for his farm.

He also has a large commercial sugar cane farmer.

Mr Mason has dedicated to farming. He produces prime quality beef steers which surpasses the quality of some of the other produces in the same category. His contribution to beef community has been immense whereby he has supplied to 23 thorough bred breeding stock to beef farmers at affordable price.

He had a burning desire from a very young age to have the best generic stock on his farm.

During droughts, he practiced cut and carry feeding system. He made his own urea-molasses block.

From his crop farm, he used to consistently supply cassava to Beachcomber Resort before COVID 19 hit Fiji.

WINNERS OF THE WESTERN 2020 NATIONAL AGRICULTURE FARMERS AWARDS

  • Small Micro Agri processor of the Year: Kamlesh Prasad: Nadi
  • National Agri Entrepreneur of the Year: Mika Ting: Savusavu (Northern Division)
  • Innovative Farmer of the Year : Chaoxu Cui: Lautoka
  • Young Farmer of the Year: Kei Long Liu: Nausori (Central Division)
  • Woman in Agriculture : Vitila Vuniwaqa: Lautoka
  • National Farmer of the Year: Geoffrey Mason: Tavua.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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