HIRING tractors for $50 an hour to plough hectares of land will now be a thing of the past for villagers of Toga in the Rewa province.
Thanks to the government and the Ministry of Agriculture that gave a tractor valued at $80,000 to Navatuyaba villages on Christmas Eve.
Toga district representative Ratu Peni Torowale said the new machine is expected to benefit about 1000 people from the three villages in the district.
"For many years, we have had to dig deep into our own pockets to pay those who own private tractors so that our land could be ploughed," he said.
"This was $50 an hour and it was really costly as most of us live in the village and we depend on farming as our means of living.
"This timely assistance is more like a Christmas gift for all of us and we would like to thank the government for providing us with such a tool that would enhance farming in the Toga community."
Agriculture Minister Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu said such assistance should be a boost to not only the villagers of Toga but to every Fijians in terms of increasing their yield and improved livelihood through farming.
He thanked the village leaders for the initiative undertaken to improve their lives as well as a great means of generating income.
The villagers contributed $10,000 to the new machine.