Not everyone wakes up before the rooster crows and heads straight out to the farm before the crack of dawn.
To even awake in the early hours of the morning is a huge ask in itself but that is exactly the type of dedication and commitment that Titilia Bolakoro has shown for past two decades on her dairy farm.
Rain, hail or shine, regardless of the weather, she is out on her dairy farm every morning, something which has become second nature to her.
The 54-year-old Naluwai native was born and raised on a dairy farm, and after 20 years of marriage in Naocosaqa settlement in Nabaitavo, Naitasiri she continues to ply her trade in the same industry upon which she was reared from.
“I was born and brought up in a dairy farm back at Naluwai, so dairy farming was nothing new to me when I decided to become a full time dairy farmer and after getting married, I took control of my husband’s farm and helped him in his farming,” she said.
“My husband’s family have been dairy farmers since the 50’s and they’ve come a long way since then, I just stepped in and helped to revive the farms production level.
After marrying in 1997, the couple concentrated efforts in raising the standard of their farm by applying differing techniques with mixed results.
Through trainings conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and consultation with stakeholders and other experienced farmers, the couple soon reaped the rewards of their labour.
She has consistently supplied approximately 25 liters of milk per day and earns a decent living from the dairy farm to support her family.
“There have been a lot of changes in the dairy industry as compared to the past because the Government has committed itself to helping farmers and making their work easier like constructing farm access roads and other agricultural developments, which is good for us,” said Titilia.
She also acknowledged Government’s exhaustive effort to assist and support farmers in the dairy industry in order to achieve its potential, highlighting the onus was also on farmers to do their part for the industry’s benefit.
“It is our responsibility, as farmers to look after our animals, we should ensure they are secured in the fence and have the frequent Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) and Brucellosis tests done in order to prevent animals from catching these diseases,” she said.
Her only wish was for more farmers to show interest in the dairy industry as it could be a lucrative venture if one remained committed to it.
She has optimistic plans for the future, plans which involve a fully automated milking system to ease her burden and she hasn’t shown any signs of giving up on her goal.
“We have a 5-year development plan to fully develop this farm to a level that we have envisioned, to have proper milking sheds, to have more calves and milking cows, to secure fully automatic milking machines and in the long term a vehicle to assist transport our milk to chilling centers,” she said.
Her advice, work smart and work together; “I would like to advise dairy farmers and other farmers who are interested in the dairy industry to work smartly and closely with each other, do things communally as this is our strength and most importantly to take heed of technical advice given by the Ministry of Agriculture, this will only boost and enhance the dairy industry for everyone.”
Such is the life and drive of Titilia Bolakoro, dedication of this like will ensure the dairy industry is headed in the right direction.