July 10, 2021
Picture: SAO Macuata Sujendra Prasad (2nd from left) with the Boubale Youth Group and their technical adviser.
A newly registered youth group in Labasa was proud to witness the fruits of their labor after they harvested their first rice yield recently.
Boubale Youth Group technical adviser, Mr Vijendra Singh, 44, said the group was formed in September last year.
“The reason we formed this youth group was to help the youths in the area be involved in income-generating activities during this difficult time, when there is no school. Most of our members are in high school,” he said.
“We felt good about our first harvest. We put in the hard work. We hope to harvest more rice next year. We will continue planting and we plan to invest into other economic generating activities so our members can have something for themselves.”
The Group is now actively looking for vacant land in the area in the hope to utilize and give back one-third to its owners, as a gesture of good faith.
Mr Singh, who is one of four technical advisers for the Group explained they harvested almost two tonnes of rice and they were now drying the rice to have it ready to be sold.
They had prepared the land early this year and after TC’s Yasa and Ana, the Group planted in March.
Mr Singh acknowledged the assistance provided by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Forestry and the Ministry of Agriculture for providing sandalwood seedlings and rice seeds.
Boubale Youth Group has 15 members.
Principal Agriculture Officer, North, Mr Binesh Prasad said they assisted the Group with harvesting by using the Ministry’s rice harvesters.
“Boubale Youth Group was one of the many rice clusters that the team in the North have and are assisting to harvest their rice. We have been working after hours as well and even late at night to ensure that we are able to harvest as we are close to the end of harvesting season,” he said.
Mr Prasad said the North had nine rice harvesters that were working simultaneously at different rice farms to ensure they covered as many rice farms as quickly as possible.