Nobody said the plantation life was going to be easy

By Aruna Lolani and Fetalai Tuilulu’u ,

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FARMER: Otineru  Faleiva from Alamotu Saleimoa.

FARMER: Otineru Faleiva from Alamotu Saleimoa.

We can’t deny the fact that everything is expensive these days. 

As the result, it is time to go back to the life Samoans started from.

According to Otineru Faleiva, from the village of Alamotu Saleimoa, subsistence farming is the way to go.

Aged 45, Otineru Faleiva speaks about the importance of having a plantation to depend on.

Village Voice caught up with Mr. Faleiva as he was selling his papayas and Samoan cocoa on the side of the road.

“Papaya and Samoan cocoa are some of the products from my plantation, that I’m just trying to sell out to earn some money.

“I sometimes sell bananas and other crops when they’re well developed. 

“We don’t have anyone working in our family as it’s just me, my wife and my three children who are currently attending Sagaga College.

“That is why I’m here, doing the best I can to sell of these goods because the money I get from this is for my children’s school fees and their bus fares.

Mr. Faleiva went on to say that he’s had a lot of help from his children in getting the crops because they are on school holidays. 

When asked about any challenges he’s dealt with as a farmer, he said “there are too many farmers now and because of that, sometimes we get good money and sometimes we don’t.

“Think about it, if there are 20 taros in a basket, do you think it’s fair for us to sell that off for just $10? No, it’s not fair because it is our sweat that we used everyday to grow these crops and it’s not an easy job.

“It’s hard work in a plantation and even harder selling them because a lot of our people are farmers, we’re competing against each other, and that is why we get little money from our crops most of the times.

“But then again, nobody ever said plantation life was going to be easy.

Mr. Faleiva said that despite how difficult it may seem, he would rather work in his own plantation than imagining himself doing anything else.

“My family and I depend on our plantation and no matter how much we make, we try to budget that for everything that we need. 

“I think with this kind of work and with this kind of life, it’s always good to keep striving because it’s one of the many things that remind us that we are Samoans. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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