Youths to become self-sufficient from scheme

Youths taking part in the Nazaria farming scheme in Saqani during a break from their farms on Friday afternoon last week. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

Youths taking part in the Nazaria farming scheme in Saqani during a break from their farms on Friday afternoon last week. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

THE success of the Nazaria farming scheme in Saqani has seen 16 youths in the district participate in root crop and yaqona farming in their efforts to become self-sufficient.

Scheme leader Semesa Vilise said the group was made up of students who had farms and funded their own education.

When this newspaper visited the farm — a secluded settlement between Naiyarabale and Vanuavou in Cakaudrove — Mr Vilise said students who were part of the scheme were in school, and added they return to the farm during the school breaks.

“This is our mataqali land and I am so thankful to God for giving me the idea to work with these youths who are from villages in Saqani to support them,” he said.

“I have more than 10 youths who are staying with me in our farmhouse and they attend to their farms on a regular basis.

“The farming scheme began in the past eight years and to date we have been working with the Agriculture Ministry’s land care unit to manage our farm lands wisely.

“The group had also received assistance from the ministry as a part of this initiative.”

Mr Vilise said on Friday last week they were expecting the delivery of water tanks and other farming equipment as part of the ministry’s assistance for the scheme.

“The youths most of whom are school dropouts have their own individual farms where they have planted an average of 10,000 yaqona plants,” he said.

Scheme member Josateki Tulele said the scheme made youths become independent adding they were actively contributing to the development of their families and communities.

Another member Ilisapeci Kuini said the scheme brought about a sense of unity among the youths.

Nazaria is named after the district in the Middle East traditionally known as the home of the biblical figure Abraham.

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