Sandalwood farm become family’s insurance policy

Sandalwood farmer Isaac Lee in Lekutu, Bua. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

FOUR years ago, Korean national Sueng Bae Lee decided to invest in planting what he now calls his insurance policy — sandalwood.

He says his sandalwood farm in Tabia, Labasa would benefit his grandchildren and the money earned from the sale of the trees would also go towards financially supporting the South Pacific Missionary Training Centre in Suva.

Now the farm is managed by his son Isaac Lee, 31, who has two children who have a brighter future thanks to the vision of their grandfather.

“We currently have over 400 plants in our farm aged one to four years old which are located at Laqere, Tabia and we intend to plant more for the missionary school,” he said.

“The intention of my father was also to develop the farm so that we can donate seedlings to members of the community on Vanua Levu and educate them on the benefits of this plant.

“Planting sandalwood is actually a low maintenance job, but the first two years require a lot of sweat and dedication.”

Mr Lee said the efforts put in during the first two years would determine their value.

“Even though it takes 15 to 20 years for the tree to mature, it is a good investment for families and the future of our children,” he said.

“We encourage Fijians to plant sandalwood and insure their future and that of their children.”

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