LABOURERS hired to pick, clear and plant vegetables have been for many years the unsung heroes of the farming industry.
Their invaluable contribution has meant crops are uprooted on time, vegetable plants are pruned or harvested and the land is always ready for the next planting season.
One such worker is 51-year-old Muni Ratnan, a labourer for more than 40 years.
Mr Ratnan makes his living on a vegetable farm at Garampani in Tavua.
"I have been a labourer all my life.
"It has put a roof over our heads and food on our table. So I can't complain much about the kind of work I do," he said.
Mr Ratnan's son works at the Vatukoula Gold Mine and helps out with the family.
"Before he started work, I was the only one providing for my family," he said.
"I know it's not the kind of work that many people want to do but it is something better than nothing."
At 51 years of age, Mr Ratnan is one of the senior labourers on the farm and he has no plans of slowing down.
"I still feel healthy. I am fit and I can still work, so when I am still able to work, I will work," he said.