Spat farmers reap rewards of challenging work

Members of the Drodromalua Mother's Club of Ravita village with their products. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

CHALLENGES and struggles they endured in establishing a spat farm has paid off for the Drodrolagi Women’s Club in Vaturova, Cakaudrove.

The use of a bamboo raft to visit their spat farms at Ravita Village and collect spats over the past three years are experiences these women will never forget.

Since its establishment in 2015, the club’s vice president, Ateca Tuilevuka, said they faced a lot of challenges.

“During bad weather, it was difficult to go out to sea on the bilibili (bamboo raft) because of rough seas and windy condition,” she said.

“We didn’t have a boat as well to help us get to our farms so it was a real challenge for us.

“But we never lost hope and kept pushing through with our business and spat farm until our first harvest in which we earned good money.”

Mrs Tuilevuka said 50 per cent of the funds were deposited into their investment account and the remaining was shared among the members.

“We wanted to award our members because we struggled and endured a lot of hardships so paying them was to appreciate their efforts,” she said.

“For the second harvest, we opened another account with ANZ Bank where our club funds are kept for operation purposes and wages for our workers.

“We now employ the youths, mostly our children, and pay them to do the jobs that suits them as energised and strong young people.”

Government’s assistance of a boat through the Prime Minister’s office, she said, uplifted their achievement.

“We can plant more rows of spats because we use an outboard engine boat and no longer depend on the bamboo raft for our farm work out at sea,” she said.

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