Fiji - Pacific Islands Rural and Agriculture Stimulus Facility (PIRAS) - July 2022
Feretariki Bureqele is a 20-year-old farmer who hails from the village of Nanuku, Yakete in the province of Ba. He has lived in the rural area of Marinitawa, Moto, Ba for almost 8 years with his father, mother, and other siblings. He was studying engineering, but because of the COVID pandemic, he returned home to the farm in 2021 and joined his father in the fields. He is the fourth continuing generation of sugarcane farmer in his family. In addition to sugarcane, he plants turmeric, pineapples, and cassava on his farm. Feretariki says he is blessed to be part of the assistance provided by the PIRAS Recovery Project. During the lockdown and restriction of movement, Feretariki couldn’t sell their pineapples which resulted in a major loss. As the youngest member of the Marinitawa Farming Cluster, and because of his dedication and interest in agriculture, Feretariki has been appointed to look after 2,000 breadfruit seedlings that are housed at a nursery beside his home. Through PIRAS, the breadfruit seedlings will be distributed to other cluster farms in Yakete and Navosa. Breadfruit has great potential to address hunger and malnutrition across the region which is why farmers are encouraged to integrate this superfood as an agroforestry system to increase food diversity and resilience for food security. During the pandemic borrowing farming equipment and tools was a challenge faced by many farmers. Occasionally, when tools were not returned on time to their owners, farming operations were delayed. PIRAS provided Feretareki with agriculture tools like a knapsack sprayer, hoe, forks and other tools that will allow him to carry out work on the farm more efficiently. Feretareki continues to plant pineapple and other crops on his farm and he enjoys doing so with his new tools. Rise Beyond the Reef has tasked him with taking photos during the Solisolivaki to send visual reports to them.
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