Fiji stories, Labasa, South Pacific culture, family, migration, Australia/Fiji relationship
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Women are farmers in Labasa
It is not surprising to read a story of a babasiga woman farming her land to support her family. The women of Labasa are often strong independent women and here is one example. Good on you Adi Sivo.
from the Fiji Times today (Thursday.)
Proving her critics wrong, strong and independent Adi Sivo Ravuwale at her farm in Bulileka, Labasa. Picture LUKE RAWALAI.
FOR Adi Sivo Ravuwale, 54, education is not the only key to
success — farming is also another. Having completed her high school
education at the age of 18, the mother of four has since become a farmer at
Bulileka Village in Labasa. Her passion and love for farming not only
spurred her to plant vegetables and root crops but also sugar cane. Now,
she is utilising about 10 acres of their mataqali land for farming.
"When I first started farming, I encountered a lot of
difficulties in terms of financial support and assistance from experts,"
she said. "I assured myself that there was a reward at the end of the road
and this boosted my spirit to use the little skills and knowledge I have on
farming. Some underestimated me because I was a woman and they criticised me,
saying that I will not succeed. I wanted to prove them wrong and so I decided
to spend most of my time in my farm ploughing and planting."
The idea certainly worked for Adi Sivo after her farm
flourished, and still does today."My farm has not only provided food for my family but also
generated income for us. Even though my husband had left me, I am glad that I
am able to support my children and live well each day."
Being a single mother is not a challenge as far as this woman is
In fact, Adi Sivo sees it as a training ground to become an
independent and successful woman. She is the iTaukei Cane Growers Northern
co-ordinator and also the president of the Bulileka Women's Group and an
International Women's Forum member.
"I have learnt a lot of new things as years go by and such
knowledge has empowered me to become a strong woman who can do anything that
comes my way. My daily life is one that is similar to a man because I get
up early in the morning and visit my farm before I even cook breakfast,"
she said. "This has become a part of my life and I enjoy it, because
at the end of the day, I am able to sleep well knowing that I have fulfilled a
Adi Sivo says she sells some of her farm produce at the Labasa
Market and the rest is consumed at home. "The money I earn pays for
my household expenses and also facilitates my canteen in the village. All
my children are grown up now and I don't worry about them too much because they
are also independent and self-reliant. I am now living a happy life and I
don't regret any bit of it because it was meant to be this way as planned by
God. I continue to live each day not worrying about my life because I also have
people whom I hire to look after my farm when I am not around."
Babasiga (pronounced bambasinga) is the dry land of Macuata in northern Fiji - our place in the sun in Fiji. Peceli is from Fiji from the village is Vatuadova and the beach is Nukutatava. Peceli Ratawa passed away on 27th December 2015 so this is Wendy's blog now. Wendy is an Australian and today live in Geelong, Australia.