Saturday, May 24, 2008


FARMING is the major project for the youth of Cakaudrove Province.
For the 14 districts in the province, each youth group has to have a farming project whether it be cultivating dalo or yaqona.
The project is compulsory.
Cakaudrove youth coordinator Anare Sikoa said for the past four years, the youths have made farming compulsory.
"Some youths drop out of school and stay in the village while others who stay in school sometimes don't get through to tertiary institutions. So we have made farming projects compulsory so that they can have something to fall back on," Mr Sikoa said.
"Employment opportunities in the rural areas are limited so farming yaqona and dalo is the best option because it earns more than white collar jobs."
Every month, district reps submit a report to Mr Sikoa and the committee on the progress of their farms. For the girls their preoccupation is mat weaving and handicraft work.
The money earned by the youth groups is given to the individual member who owns the farm.
"We just motivate them and push them through with their farming, and assist others start new farms. But the individual members who own the farm are responsible for the harvest," Mr Sikoa said.
"Whatever money they earn belongs to them. Most have rural bank accounts in which they deposit their earnings for their future plans."
Such plans include further studies, building their own homes in the village, expanding their farms or starting up businesses.
"This is another area we concentrate on and that is to encourage our youth groups to do further studies and educate themselves but to always keep their farms because it's financial support for their plan."
Mr Sikoa said they also help the youths market their produce.
"Fishing is another area we encourage because it also gives good returns.
"We are training them to be responsible - for themselves, their families and their future."

Adapted from Fijitimes Online