THE Vodafone Farmers Carnival has spent $281,000 for the education of the underprivileged since its inception in 2000.
Carnival organising committee secretary Udit Narayan said the festival played a crucial role in educating the poor and the less fortunate.
With the carnival kicking-off yesterday, Mr Narayan said the committee targeted $30,000 during the week-long event.
"This carnival has changed the lives and the livelihoods of many poor families and we will continue to help these kids with whatever money raised during the festival," he said.
"More than 6000 students have been assisted by this carnival during the past 12 years.
"We are happy to see people coming out in big numbers on the first day to support this worthy cause and we are positive that more people will turn up during the week."
Mr Narayan said the festival would be an opportune time for the people of Lautoka and the neighbouring towns to bury their sorrows caused by the two floods that hit the west early this year. "This get-together will bring smiles to the faces of the kids and all those that want to enjoy the fun offered at the ground and to forget the memories of the floods."
"It will be a festival of unity where all races will converge and celebrate the event for a worthy cause."
Six contestants are vying for the Miss Farmers crown that was won by Miss Saweni Sector Maureen Lata last year.