REAL men live by the sweat of their brow.
These were the words of John Ravai, a Rotuman farmer whose yam weighing 138kg won first place in the yam and taro show organised by the Fiji-Rotuman Association yesterday.
The 57-year-old retired Telecommunications worker said after his retirement three years ago, he decided to toil the land and was able to support his family with the produce from his farm.
Mr Ravai said he started preparing for the annual agriculture show last year, carefully selecting a nice shady place at his Laucala Beach home to plant his winning yam.
"I am asking all people from Rotuma living in Fiji, to come forward and be part of this show. It's a nice way to learn and share farming techniques and advice," he said.
The seven districts in Rotuma were represented by Rotumans staying on the mainland. Pepjei District, where Mr Ravai hails from, has set a new record in the yams category this year.
"My message to all my fellow kinsmen is let's go back to farming. And to youths, life will continue to be a struggle so let's use the land."
He said the giant yam took about nine months to grow.
"Part of the discussion is to sell the yams with the prices up to the owner. But I will not sell this yam. This is for Mother's Sunday," he said with a smile.