Quality soil search

FARMERS on Taveuni have shifted inland in search of quality soil and higher income.

Taveuni farmer and dalo exporter Krishna Reddy said over the past years, many farmers relocated their farms inland.

“The quality of soil is not so good like we all know and that is why farmers have moved inland towards Mount Uluiqalau in search of good soil,” he said.

“The only reason why farmers do this is because they want to gain high income from selling dalo to exporters.

“It also means that buyers need to travel inland to buy the dalo and I have done that too because we also need to buy good crops for the market.”

Mr Reddy said common sights of having dalo farms by the roadside no longer existed.

“Ten years ago, you would see dalo farms by the roadside and healthy ones too with big leaves but you won’t see that anymore today,” he said.

“So the situation has resulted in farmers building camp houses at their farms so they can spend a few days there because it is far from their villages.

“Farmers are facing a challenging time in trying to revive the quality of land on their farms and with the great and tremendous help from Teitei Taveuni and Government, we are positive of better days.”

Mr Reddy said the sizes of dalo had also decreased.

“The quality of soil has affected the size of dalo and that is another reason why farmers have moved inland to plant and get a good size dalo,” he said.

“Good and big-sized dalo means more money for the farmers because buyers pay $2 to $2.50 for a kilogram of dalo.

“But apart from this challenging situation, farmers have not been discouraged from planting dalo and that’s the positive thing about it.”

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