Retired Teacher Earns Livelihood By Farming


Teaching for the past 30 years, Ram Mishra, who is now a commercial farmer, believes that agriculture paves the way for sustaining a better livelihood.
Owning 100 acre freehold land, Mr Mishra plants cassava, dalo, ginger and other cash crops in Vakabalea in Navua.
He employs close to 10 labourers on his farm and has provided them with housing.
“I was teaching for the last 30 years and after retirement, farming has been a source of income for my family and I was able to provide a better future for my children and family.”
“My children completed school and they all went to medical school; my two daughters have completed medical studies and at the moment my son is completing his studies also in medical school.”
Until today, Mr Mishra has never regretted the sacrifice he has made some years back but has enjoyed every grain of success from toiling the land.
“For cassava and dalo I supply them to Dan’s Trading and for ginger I supply it to Kaiming Agro Processing Limited in Navua. Well for farmers in Navua one of the challenges is proper drainage and the frequent changes in the weather cycle. We farmers lose a lot when there is flooding because of poor draining, however, we are thankful to the Government for providing assistance with drainage around our farmland.”
Mr Mishra was one of the farmers that received assistance from the Ministry of Waterways in drainage works and this was completed within a week.
“Last year, I only managed to produce only 20 tonnes of ginger, however, through improvements in drainage we have managed to produce 60 tonnes and this is good indication of drainage works which has contributed to the good production crops.”
A total of four kilometres of drainage works was executed around his farm that cost $7200 with the finance sourced from the Maintenance Drainage scheme through the Ministry of Waterways.
While farming is the only way out of poverty for most residents living in the Navua delta, Mr Mishra adds that farming should not be seen as a second option for employment.
“I think farming should not be a fallout of employment but considered as sustainable employment and it is highly productive profession that brings in a lot of money.”
“Price of dalo and cassava is really good which has made it even interesting and I tell you that farming will never disappoint you.”