My office is my plantation

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L. Likou ,

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I MAKE MORE AS A FARMER THAN I DID WHEN I WAS WORKING: Tui Vanu, 24, from the village of Lotosoa, Saleimoa, returning from his plantation

I MAKE MORE AS A FARMER THAN I DID WHEN I WAS WORKING: Tui Vanu, 24, from the village of Lotosoa, Saleimoa, returning from his plantation

It’s been said time and time again, farmers have the ability to make more than most working class people in Samoa.

It’s not a major feat considering the minimum wage level in Samoa.

For Tui Vanu, from the village of Lotosoa, Saleimoa, he became a farmer not long after leaving his job and he hasn’t turned back since.

The young farmer says he earns a lot more from his plantation than he did in his previous employment.

“I spend my days staying home and helping out my family,” Tui told the Village Voice.

“I know so many people who go around wasting time on things that don’t matter. Every day I wake up early in the morning and make sure I am at the plantation by seven.”

“That’s the best time to start my plantation work because I don’t want to work in the heat of the sun. I have to make sure I am done by the time the sun becomes unbearably hot.”

He admits that his farm isn’t too big but it’s still good money nonetheless.

“My farm isn’t too big but it works for me,” Tui said.

“I grow taro, bananas and coconuts. This has been my life for about two years now. Not only does my plantation provide my family with food, I can also earn a bit of money from selling at the market. It’s good money and it’s quick.” He says that he only became a farmer because he needed a way to take care of his family but when he realized its potential, he stuck to it.

“I was employed but when I stopped working at my job I struggled for find another way to provide for my family,” Tui said.

“When I started farming, I quickly realized that the earnings I get from the plantation were pretty good and so I continued with it.”

“It’s actually better than what I made from my previous job. I could make one trip to the market and make some money on that day.” Tui says there are so many reasons why he prefers working as a farmer than any other job.

“Comparing the money I make from working and being a farmer, I think farmers make more money,” he said.

“There are costs when you work such as bus fares that need to be paid. If you put together the money we use on bus fares over a long period, it’s a huge waste.”

“When I go to the plantation I don’t need to take the bus, I just walk and gather what I need for the day and go sell it by the road.”

“I make so much more money as a farmer than I did when I was working. Another perk is that I am my own boss and it’s up to me when I rest or not.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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