The tractor driver
5 September, 2018, 3:00 am
YOU can teach people skills and educate them until they have certificates, diplomas and degrees galore but the one thing you can’t teach anyone is how to develop their initiative.
You can’t teach them how to look past the challenges, trials and difficulties and see that every dark cloud has a silver lining.
And when you come across people who have a desire to learn and progress despite difficult circumstances, you cannot help but step back and look at them in awe.
One such person is Ruca Siganimate Rasili.
She is possibly the first female to obtain a Class 9 vehicle licence and operate 240 horsepower tractors in Fiji.
Ruca is part of a team that is revolutionising the sugarcane growing sector in the Western Division with a company called FarmWorld-Fiji.
It was during a recent stint in government’s seasonal worker’s program in Australia that the Nasorowaqa, Bua, lass developed a keen interest in driving tractors.
“I was working on a farm and while everyone was focused on picking stuff, I just wanted to drive tractors,” the 26-year-old shared.
“And because I showed a lot of interest, the farm owners trained me and I began to drive the machines around the farm and I realised how much easier it was to do farming with the right machines.”
When she returned to Fiji after successfully completing her work, Ruca met Brendan Davies—CEO of FarmWorld-Fiji.
“She came up to me and said she wanted to drive tractors and I come from Australia and I believe that everyone should be given a fair go,” Mr Davies shared.
“So I got her to start from the basics cleaning the tractors and then progressing on to the maintenance. “And she didn’t give up, she was there every morning and kept at it and when I saw the enthusiasm and drive that she had, I decided to train her on our machines and got her certified.
“Today, she is one of the best tractor drivers we have and I am so proud of her and what she has achieved through perseverance.”
It took Ruca six months to learn the intricacies of the FarmWorld-Fiji tractors.
Unlike the machines used on most farms in the country, the FarmWorld-Fiji tractors are huge and fairly sophisticated machines.
“My family was surprised when I told them that I had a Class 9 licence and I was working for FarmWorld-Fiji and that I was earning good money,” Ruca said.
“But I never had any doubt. I believe that a woman can do any job that a man can do. “It’s really up to each one of us how much we want to work and whether we are willing to do what it takes to get a job.”