Dry spell wreaks havoc on farms

Hem Lata at her poutry farm as she collects eggs to take to the market. Picture: VISHAAL KUMAR

BEING a poultry and goat farmer, Hem Lata well knows very well about the impacts of the dry season. She had experienced it first-hand as a farmer and knows what it feels like to be affected by the dry spell.

A team from this newspaper visited Ms Lata at her place in Naqere, Tabia in Labasa yesterday where she discussed the hardship her family faced during the recent dry spell in the North.

“We do vegetable farming, goat and poultry farming on our land. These are our main sources of income as my husband started work recently,” she said.

“He prepares the land for me and then I do my farming.

“We really felt the effect of the dry season and we are still recovering from it. Because of the dry spell, we had to sell five cows. We just kept a pair of cattle for the farm.”

She said with three acres of land, the family planted all types of vegetables.

“Every Saturday, we used to take our vegetables to the Labasa Market to sell. But now, I just take eggs. Vegetables still have not grown properly.

“There also came a time where we had to buy vegetables to eat,” she said.

“I still have 20 goats, 70 layer birds and 50 meat birds.

“We buy chicks and then after three months they start laying eggs. We sell the chickens from home.

“Our income got affected. Our income was about more than $100 a week. Now it is very hard.”

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