Single mum on the job – Cash benefits for cultivation initiative

Lusiana Vei of Nalotawa, right, provides for her four children working on Mobini Khan’s (middle) farm in Ba. Picture: SUPPLIED

One of the biggest challenges for a single parent is finding a suitable way to support the livelihoods of their family.

For 31-year-old Lusiana Vei of Nalotawa in Ba, she has been able to provide the much needed support for her four children by working in a small farm outside of Ba Town.

The farm, owned by 59 year-old Mobini Khan, grows long beans for export and was one of the farms in the area that was severely affected by flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Ana early this year.

After losing all he had in the farm, Mr. Khan was able to recover through the Ministry of Agriculture’s Cash for Cultivation Initiative which is supported by the Australian Government and implemented by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji.

“I lost about $6000 worth of beans and I had to restart again. I am thankful to the cash assistance that helped me to buy fuel to cultivate the land and I also bought my seeds to recover,” Mr Khan said.

He works on the farm with his wife and Lusiana

. “We live together during the week, we provide for everything including her meals and she only leaves on Saturday to spend the weekend with her family in the village.”

Lusiana also extends her appreciation to the Australian Government for supporting affected farmers like Mr Khan.

She said the cash assistance of $200 was able to help Mr Khan recover and because of that she was able to get her employment back to support her children and her parents especially during this COVID-19 crisis when most Fijians are facing difficulties in sustaining their livelihoods.

Mr Khan was among the 766 farmers assisted by the Cash for Cultivation Initiative during the first phase with support from the Australian Government.

The Cash for Cultivation Initiative provided funds to help farmers clear and prepare land and purchase planting material to re-establish a 1-acre plot.

Australia’s assistance later funded the second phase of the initiative assisting 3000 affected farmers, giving them the choice to utilise the assistance on their priority needs whether to pay for labour, buy seedlings or crops, farming equipment or to meet whatever farming needs they have.

  • LOSALINI BOLATAGICI is the communication officer for Adventists Development & Relief Agency Fiji and is a former journalist with this newspaper. The views expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily shared by this newspaper.

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