A SILVER lining has emerged out of the floods earlier this year, a community in Lautoka reporting that the waters gifted them with richer and more versatile soil.
Residents of Lobonivanua settlement, located outside the city, reported the crop yield was so much that they abandoned sugarcane farming. The settlement covers a six-acre field with six houses and about 30 residents.
"Although the floods took down many of our homes, it in fact improved our farming land. We have never had such rich soil to plant on before, and now that the floods have washed these soils down to our village, our crops are growing so fast," said farmer Inosi Waqatabu.
The 59-year-old father of seven said prior to the floods, there were only a few farmers, who planted sugarcane.
"We found that with the cane season, we never really got any cash, and when we did, it wasn't much but now that we have invested in planting simple vegetables, we see cash flow every day," he said. The whole community, he said was now involved in planting and harvesting vegetables. "We see all the women and children of the village helping out now, so it's a much easier job for us," Mr Waqatabu said.
He said they were involved in vegetable farming for seven months and thanked the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises N Development (FRIEND) for the seeds and tools.
"They really helped us get started. We are so happy with what we have now," said fellow resident Inosi Tora. They now plant cabbage, lettuce, carrots, taro, spinach, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, pineapples, and peanuts.