Youth of Navunimono, Verata in Tailevu found inspiration in farming to help them in their spiritual and religious journey.
This young group of Northland men sought to help their elders achieve their dream of constructing a new Church for their village by venturing and exploiting their abundant resources through farming only ginger.
Not short of moral encouragement, they are guided and led by their seniors who have not wavered in their support shown to their upcoming leaders.
With only just 10 members, these young men of Navunimono came together as a cluster in July 2017 with the aim to do well for their village in order to build and solidify their faith through building their new House of Worship.
“This group is formed by the vanua of Daviko with the 4 Church Ministers and 4 mataqalis (land owning unit). We always celebrate Daviko Day annually and saw that the Church was getting smaller for all of us, so the idea of building a new and bigger Church came to light with those working and living in the urban areas,” said Eroni Sorosoro Tabua, the group’s leader.
“The main purpose for this ginger project is to build a bigger Church to accommodate all of us during religious gatherings and proceeds from ginger is better because it is a short term crop,” he said.
These young men are confident in their ability and are very much involved in this ginger farming project as it is likened to that of communal work or solesolevaki, something which they are already accustomed to and is part of iTaukei village life.
With an inkling to take the proposal forward and implement it on the ground, elders and all villagers of Navunimono have wholeheartedly supported their farming endeavor.
“The village elders are always there for advice and support and every one is supportive towards this initiative and part of the reason we chose to farm ginger rather than other cash crops was because ginger is a short term crop which gives very good returns.
“The market for ginger is readily available and we have easy access to it as our main market is Frespac Ginger (Fiji) Limited and some local hotels,” added Mr Tabua.
There are plans set in motion by the Navunimono Methodist Farm Cluster, following their successful implementation of their ginger project, to now extend their farm by planting other commodities.
“After the successful start of this ginger farm, we will now plant dalo where we have already prepared new plots to plant and we also plan to supplement our current farming with watermelon.
They have carefully calculated their path for the future as well as that of their village through their vision whereby they hope to secure the villagers incomes and food security for the future by promoting the benefits of farming on a large commercial scale.
“Our plan is for all individuals to have a ginger farm for their families apart from the one that is for the project as we’re planning to share the quota with Freshpac Ginger (Fiji) Limited so that the individual household will also have access to the market,” said Mr Tabua.
The Navunimono Methodist Farm Cluster also acknowledged the contribution and assistance rendered by Government through the Ministry of Agriculture as they were novices, considering they had little experience with ginger farming.
“We’re thankful to the Ministry of Agriculture for providing the group with machinery which greatly assisted us in land clearing and land preparation unlike the traditional method that was formerly known, which required a lot of man power and energy.
“The Ministry of Agriculture also assisted us with the ginger planting materials which helped the group in the starting of the farm, we are grateful to the Ministry for providing us technical advice from the locality officers and the Hon. Minister himself for coming down physically to offer his support for this project,” he added.
The group is currently using 2 mataqali owned land, utilizing a total of 10 acres for their farming project and Mr. Tabua again echoed the call for people to make full use of their available resources.
“We’re using our resources to ensure that we can realize our elders’ dreams of a new and bigger Church for our future generations to use and everybody should utilize the resources available to them for a positive outcome, just like how we are faring now in Navunimono.”