No regrets for farmer

Vegetable and guava farmer Pushkar Charan talks to the media at the Taiwan Technical Mission research centre in Nacocolevu, Sigatoka. Picture: SUPPLIED

One of Sigatoka’s biggest sugarcane farmers, Puskar Charan, has turned to guava and cash crop farming for his family’s daily survival.

The 74-year-old man said he depended on the sugar industry for decades and had no regrets about the switch. “I’ve said goodbye to sugar cane because I get more money from what I’m doing now,” he said.

Mr Charan said the transition to guava farming in 2014 allowed him to provide for his family and his children’s education needs.

He said the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) in Fiji had taught him a lot.

“They not only supply us with guava plants or the seedlings we need.

“They actually come to our farm and teach us the methods of planting.

“Without them I wouldn’t have earned as much as I am earning today. “This venture has also given me and my family the opportunity to travel overseas.”

Mr Charan said he had more than a thousand guava plants on his farm.

He said despite the impacts of COVID-19 on hotels and resorts –– which were his major buyers –– he still earned an income from the supermarkets.

“Most of us farmers take these things for granted but if we just sacrifice and listen to TTM and follow the way they do farming, we can rake in more money for our family.

“It will take a bit of sacrifice but it is worth it.”

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