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Fiji Time: 1:01 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Youths earn from yasi

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, February 25, 2013

A GROUP of youths in Cakaudrove on Vanua Levu have started a sandalwood (yasi) nursery that is already generating income for them.

The youths of Muana Village in the Tunuloa District started the project last year and demand for the purchase of the scented wood has continued to grow.

Supported by the Sisi Initiative Site Support Group, the youths sell a seedling for $5 to customers from around the Northern Division.

Group member Lusiano Matebalavu said they had also been assisted by officials from the Ministry of Forestry.

"They provided us with seedlings to start this project and technical training was also given to the youths helping us understand how to nurture a young plant," Mr Matebalavu said.

"Last year, we decided to start the sandalwood nursery because these trees are worth a lot of money even though it may take many years to fully mature for the market."

He said neighbouring villages had bought a lot of young sandalwood plants for projects set to benefit their future generation.

Mr Matebalavu said the income earned from the nursery was used to buy more seedlings from the Ministry of Forestry and meet operation costs of running the project.

Other youth members have contributed through the construction of the nursery.

Although the nursery just started, Mr Matebalavu said the growing demand for plants of yasi meant the project looked promising for the youths.