Tobacco farming sustains families in Nadroga

February 22, 2024 12:30 pm

Several tobacco farmers in Nadroga/Navosa continue to reap the rewards from their harvest, providing for their families for generations.

Dried tobacco leaves, commonly known as suki, serve as a significant source of income for them.

Farmer Joseva Manaseitava from Navosa says suki has been a traditional crop for his family, passed down through generations.

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Manaseitava says that farmers can earn from $8,000 to $10,000 monthly during the harvesting season.

“We know when Suki is in season. We plant it and ensure that it’s harvested on time. Our forefathers have been planting suki, and we continue to follow in their footsteps. We know that cigarette rolls are very expensive, and suki is the best substitute for cigarettes.”

Another tobacco farmer from Nadroga, Viliame Nacoqa, described the challenges and processes involved in tobacco farming.

“It takes a few weeks for the tobacco seed to germinate, so you have to be patient, and once it reaches a certain height, we have to continuously trim the leaves for the best result.”

Despite the challenges, Nacoqa says they sell the leaves to established markets or directly sell them to buyers who visit their farms.

He says this direct-to-market approach provides convenience and ensures a steady demand for their produce.

Overall, tobacco farming remains a lucrative venture for many farmers in Navosa and Nadroga, contributing significantly to their livelihoods and local economies.