THE week long Crest Fiji Agriculture Show 2012 came to a resounding end with outstanding farmers recognised for their hard work during the Prime Minister's Farmer of the Year Awards last night at Churchill Park in Lautoka.
The culmination of the event was marked with the awards ceremony and the biggest winner of the night was 26-year-old, Isaia Nacolaliku who walked away with the Crest Farmer of Year trophy.
Mr Nacolaliku's award marked a milestone for the awards as it was the first time a farmer, who was physically disadvantaged, had won the trophy.
The Nasalia villager's inability to communicate with others did not stop him from setting up a yaqona farm, a fish pond with 6000 tilapia and supplying fresh produce to some of the major market centres in the country.
Speaking on behalf of his cousin, Sainitiki Matasawalevu said Mr Nacolaliku saw his disability not as a disadvantage but as a challenge.
"He has always been a hard worker and he never at one time saw his disability as something that would stop him from achieving his dream," said Mr Matasawalevu.
He added that his cousin dreamt of building a house for his parents and buying a range rover for his flourishing business.
Other winners were;
* Young Farmer of the Year — Amit Rao;
* Best Forester of the Year — Maika Tabukovu;
* Best Fisherman of the Year — Jekope Toka.
* Pig Farmer of the Year — Amit Rao;
* Ginger Farmer of the Year — Netani Kuilalekaleka;
* Potato Farmer of the Year — Filimoni Tilatila;
* Coconut Farmer of the Year — Tevita Viuvou; and
* Non-Wood Forest Developer of the Year — Nawaqabena Community.
A total of 42 trophies presented during the awards.