Hard work, a key to success

Narata farmer Sanaila Mariqana on his farm along Valley Rd in Sigatoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

SANAILA Mariqana is a proud young man who toils the land and works hard on his farm daily and he is a testimony to determination is the key to success.

After completing his secondary education at Lomawai Secondary School six years ago, he made up his mind he was going to start his own farm and make use of the land near his village in Narata along the Valley Rd in Nadroga.

He was only 17 years old and with whatever little farming knowledge he learnt from fellow villagers, started his own cassava farm. As time went on, he decided to venture into farming practices that could help him earn more money.

Now 23, he has a cassava and tobacco farm situated just beside the Valley Rd.

His farm day usually begins at 9am, after breakfast, when he leaves home with his wife to attend to the farm before they go on a lunch break and return in the afternoon.

And Mr Mariqana is already sowing the seeds of his hard work.

In a day, he could earn $360 from selling cassava while this will be his second year to get Christmas bonus from his tobacco earnings.

This bonus could be about $7000 to $10,000 depending on how much they have planted and harvested during the year.

The Narata villager said he had never regretted any moment of being a farmer because he gets money whenever he needs it.

And he never lets social and village gatherings affect his daily farming business because he is committed to it and farming is just like looking after his own children.

With the help of his horse, Mr Mariqana ploughs the land with pride and love for the work he does because he is already reaping rewards from his sweat and hard work.

His wife accompanies him to the farm sometimes just to ease the burden off his shoulder.

Her presence will always make him smile and forget working under the scorching Valley Rd sun.

And he was more than happy to provide a small piece of advice to young Fijians who may find little interest in farming.

“There are huge sums of money in farming, you just have to work hard and focus on what you do, always remain positive and do everything with pride believing that you will achieve a reward for your hard work at the end of the day,” Mr Mariqana concluded.