PEOPLE should make use of their farm produce instead of taking all of it to the market for sale.
This is the view of Abaca Village headman Viliame Rokoua.
Abaca Village is situated in the highlands about 16 kilometres from Lautoka City. The village was also badly hit by Tropical Cyclone Evan, resulting in villagers losing all their farm produce.
Although it will take time for the villagers' lives to normalise, Mr Rokoua, 64, maintains people should ensure healthy living.
"From my experience, life is hard now compared to what it was before," he said.
"There's a lot of sickness now because of the processed food people are consuming. They find it easier to go for processed food like canned meat, fish and other things instead of going for fresh produce."
Mr Rokoua said he had been continuously encouraging Abaca villagers to eat fresh vegetables and to maintain cleanliness. He said by eating fresh produce from the farms or gardens and maintaining cleanliness, the villagers would live a healthy life.
"People from the village used to take their farm produce to Lautoka Market for sale before the cyclone but there is nothing left right now for them to sell. But I have always been telling them to make use of their farm produce first before taking it to the market," Mr Rokoua said.
"They should ensure there is enough for them to consume instead of trying to sell all in the market and using the money to buy processed food."
Mr Rokoua said while it would take months for things to normalise in the village, he encouraged villagers to start planting vegetables at the earliest to ensure a healthy life.