Thursday, October 31, 2013

Planting trees in Seaqaqa

from w
What a good idea, to think ahead and plant 40 mahogany trees so that they will be ready to harvest in several years - for retirement.  Not many people think about the future like that.  Here's a man from Seaqaqa who's doing that  A member of our family has planted pine trees and some mahogany also thinking ahead, but his plan is for education of the family.

40 'twilight' trees

Lote Raboila
Friday, November 01, 2013
AS a sugarcane farmer, Amkar Prasad 55, of Lalakoro in Seaqaqa knows all too well that when the time comes to give up farming, he has no retirement fund on which to lean on to take care of himself in his twilight years. It was with this in mind he, three years ago, set about putting into motion a back-up plan that includes 40 sandalwood (santalum) of the paniculatum species which he planted as investment for when he retires.
"I don't have superannuation deducted from my income like most working people so I planted the sandalwood trees as my retirement money because sandalwood fetches a good price," Amkar said.
Sandalwood is a class of fragrant wood tree valued for the essential oils extracted from its core. Depending on the species, the trees are harvested anywhere from seven to 20 years of age. Both the wood and the oil produce a distinctive fragrance that has been highly valued for centuries. Sandalwood was a much sought after commodity in the area of Bua Bay, Vanua Levu in the early 19th century.
Locally, sandalwood fetches up to $200 a kilogram or $200,000 a tonne. According to the Department of Forestry, last year sandalwood exports amounted to $2.59million. This was an upward shift from $1.57m in 2011 and $2.27m in 2010.
While Amkar waits for this sandalwood plantation to bear fruit, he continues to work his 33-acre farm of which approximately half is under sugar cane of which he harvests between 300 and 400 tonnes annually and 10,000 pineapples.
He also does a mixed crop of vegetables for his family's subsistence.
His farm is also diversified to include 20 heads of cattle and 25 goats.
Sugar cane is doing well this year with the price at $62.58 per tonne which is expected to increase to a record $80.74 per tonne by the end of the year. Last year, the cane price was $58 per tonne.
Amkar took over the farm from his mother-in-law Indra Wati in 2002 with her permission acquiring power of attorney after she relocated to Suva. Indra is a client of the Fiji Development Bank and by proxy, Amkar as well. Amkar has since taken steps to take over the lease, the transfer of which is in progress.
The farm has been financed under FDB's all-purpose sugarcane product since 1998. The product offers financial assistance for land development, land purchase, construction of farm house, farm vehicles, machinery, equipment, implements and working capital to eligible sugarcane farmers.
* Lote Raboila is the media and community relations officer of the Fiji Development Bank.

1 comment:

S Rocks said...

Thank you for this post man. its very informative.