BY GEORGINA KEKEA
AGRICULTURE is said to be the backbone of the country. The same sentiment was raised by a local farmer from Savo Island, Patrick Nati.
Patrick comes from Pokilo village. He was selling watermelons at the Honiara’s central market and his watermelons ranges from the price of$30 to $130.
Speaking to Island Sun, Nati says money earned from this produce is far more than the expenses he had incurred.
Though it caused him $800 to get his melons to the market, at the end of his sell, he still have a lot of money left to sustain him and his family.
All his life he had been a farmer. A job he is passionate about and continues to share with people in his community.
He said farming and agriculture is good money and people only need to have the will power to labor in the gardens.
He said his farming techniques are organic in nature and he uses chicken manure as fertiliser.
“Once upon a time, Taiwan organised a competition and I won first, second and third prize and so they gave me a certificate,” he said.
He said he was happy to receive that certificate from Taiwan and looks forward for more competitions of this sort for farmers.
Being a farmer most his life, Nati had been helping the people around his community on how to make fertilizers and how to look after their gardens. The melons that he sells are evidence of how he had looked after his gardens.
“I wrap them in a bag before placing them in a box so as not to spoil them so that when we come in the boat, it is intact and will not roll around.”
Nati said he is happy to assist and share his knowledge with his people because only through farming and agriculture will one in the rural area will be able to earn money.
Perseverance and dedication are values that needs to be practised if one wants to survive.
“Big money here. I spent $150 for melon seeds. $800 for transportation, $60 storage fee and a little more money on market fee but the returns are huge. I usually get around $10,000 after I sell my water melons. I do the labor as well so there is no labor cost involved.”
Nati says for a packet of seed, he can get around 150 seeds.
He said as a farmer, he is happy and content and there is nothing much he would like to ask for. Except to work hard and be willing in order to earn a living.