Veniana lives off the land

Vosita Veniana, 46, of Nakavika Village in Namosi beside her tilapia pond. Picture: ATU RASEA

IN the highlands of Namosi surrounded with beautiful lush rainforest and perched on a hill is the village of Nakavika.

Nakavika villager Vosita Veniana, 46, says she was fortunate to be living in a place which was full of life through its natural resources and family connections.

The mother of six said if it wasn’t for the vanua she wouldn’t be able to achieve so many things in her life.

Toiling the land through yaqona and dalo farming, and running a tilapia fish pond has contributed immensely to her family’s livelihood over the years.

With her children living their own lives through playing rugby overseas, teaching and working in the Capital City, Vosita still maintains a humble life toiling the land like she did before the success in her family.

Her main focus now is supporting her youngest child’s education as a Year 11 student. Not only does she operate her own tilapia pond with her husband, she was also the president of the Nakavika Women’s Club that operates a poultry farm in the village.

“The tilapia pond was operated by families but since business was running at a slow pace, my husband and I thought to take over the business,” she said.

“We thought the business would help us support our children’s education.” She says the land in which the pond is located belongs to her husband’s family.

“We have harvested the tilapia twice now and we got about $300 from it, but the figure changes according to the weather,” she said.

“When it’s good weather we get good harvest, but when it’s the rainy period the pond gets too much water which leads to flooding.

“Flooding leads to loss of fish stock, as water flow carries fish stock outside of the pond, making it a big loss for us.”

She says the tilapia fish are sold for $6 a kilogram in the village.

“We hope to develop the pond business further so it can help us financially in the future,” she said.

“We also do yaqona farming and with the land area we use for farming, we can harvest our yaqona every two years compared to some places which takes four to five years to harvest.

“Dalo farming is another source of livelihood for us and at the moment we are selling dalo for $4 a kilo and are sold to buyers’ right at our doorstep.

“For yaqona, waka is sold at $90 a kilo and lewena is sold at $40 a kilo.”

She said her tilapia was ready for harvest this festive season.

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