LEAVING school at Class Seven, Korovuto resident Mahesh Prasad began his career as a farmer at a very young age.
Growing up at Babriban in Ba, Mr Prasad said he always knew from a young age he would eventually become a full-time farmer.
"I have been farming since I was a child, so it wasn't really a surprise when I became one," he said.
"My parents were farmers too, so when I left school, they taught me everything I needed to know about farming."
Now more than 30 years later, Mr Prasad runs a successful okra farm beside the Vinai river in Balevutu.
While okra is his main focus of business, there are other vegetables that he also grows on his four and a half acre piece of land.
"I also grow tomatoes, coriander, radish and even cassava. I also have a small plantation of sugar cane," Mr Prasad said.
As part of diversification plans and because of the high market price for sandalwood, the vegetable and sugarcane grower has also planted 70 sandalwood trees.
During okra harvesting season, Mr Prasad's farm yields between 200 and 300 kilograms of the vegetable. Depending on market demand, he sometimes exports the vegetable if the price is lucrative, otherwise the bulk of his harvest goes to middlemen at the Lautoka Market.
Business had been booming for Mr Prasad but the recent heavy downpour in the west were drastic.
"When it rained on Monday, water collected in many plots and when it came time to pick the mature okra, there was hardly any to be found," he said.
Mr Prasad said his most recent harvest only yielded 70 kilograms of okra.
"The rainy season has really affected us. I usually employ about six or seven labourers but because we were not making enough money, I had to let some of them go," he said.