Friday, April 19, 2013

on the farm in March - April 2013

The farm is starting to look beautiful again.  Although it will take a long time before we can get it back to the state it was before  cylone Evan,  we are starting to see the garden recover.

 The flowering shrubs flowered profusely and it was quite an adventure to look for the blooms on the hibiscus and other flowering shrubs.   I made the cuttings over the past months and it is the first time that they are flowering..

 A series of troughs of low pressure, prevalent trade wind
flow and Tropical Depressions influenced Fiji’s weather in
Rainfall during the month was generally average to above

 The presence of TD16F during the first week of March
brought rainfall to all parts of the country

The above shrub is particularly beautiful.  The flowers, which resembles a hibiscus, change colours over a few days...from white to pink to darker pink.  Don't know the name yet, but will blog more about this shrub.

 At Monasavu, 278.7mm of rainfall was recorded in March,
which was 45% of normal.

As you can see, the worst is cleared up in this area....I think the fallen tree in the back will stay ...use it as a feature....

The workshop is just about finished. Floors done with one of the walls to be finished.

 Claude started on the laundry and a workplace for me.

Once again we had the help of strong Fijian boys to help lift and carry the roofs and walls sidings that we used previously.  It was neatly stacked on the farm but got

                     ' stirred'                                  during cyclone Evan!

just a few boring shots of  holes for the poles....

 and we had an Oops again!

The land is still  full of broken down trees and branches dangling from the tops of trees that we have not been able to clear after cyclone Evan .  Claude is slashing as much as he can with the tractor -  clearing at the same time.  Whilst slashing and clearing in a spot where he has not cleared since cylone Evan, a  tree branch dislodged itself ....from somewhere........ and stuck right through the cab of the tractor.

His foot got stuck ( see the LH  shoe underneath and behind the branch ) and he managed with great difficulty to get the tractor to stop as he could not push the clutch!



 After this mishap and dare I say it was the second Oops as the first Oops was a branch that fell on him.....(no photo)   - Claude was on light duty and ever the busy bee, he started to renovate this
 Yamaha AG 200 farm bike

From this - 

 To this !

Mobile on the farm !

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

overview of agriculture in Fiji

Fiji Agriculture

Agriculture, which was once a major stronghold of Fiji’s economy, now comprises only 8.9% of the nation’s GDP. More than three-quarters of all Fijian households used to engage in agricultural-related activities, but now many of those workers have switched over to the growing service industry.
Sugarcane is Fiji’s most important agricultural industry, accounting for over one-third of all of Fiji’s industrial activity. Indigenous Fijians own most farmland and local residents of Indian ancestry farm it and produce about 90% of all sugarcane, which is then processed into raw sugar and molasses in the Fiji Sugar Corporation, which is predominantly owned and run by the government. The European Union is the largest export market for Fiji’s sugar.
Coconut and copra (the dried meat of the coconut) are also important agricultural products that are widely used and exported from Fiji. There was a ban on exporting copra until 1998, and since then a new copra-buying company has emerged, raising the price of copra considerably. Fiji also grows and exports bananas, pineapples, watermelons, cereal, rice, corn, ginger, cocoa and tobacco.
A flood in January 2009 devastated areas in the central and western regions of Fiji and destroyed most of the farmland in Sigatoka Valley, an area that supplies 70% of vegetables to all local farms. Agricultural production suffered massively and relief from Fiji’s government, as well as seedlings donated by the Taiwan Technical Mission and AUSAID allowed many farmers to stabilize their vegetable production and make up some of the profits they lost due to the flood.
According to the Fiji government, the January flood as well as the devaluation of the Fiji dollar by 20% (which also happened in 2009), have had a positive impact on agricultural production by adding value to harvested crops. Other sources indicate that the flood and the global economic crisis actually have the potential to devastate Fiji’s agricultural economy.
In April of 2009, the government of Taiwan advised Fiji to curtail its falling rate of the GDP in relation to agricultural production by vigilantly increasing its export business in whatever way possible. Currently, Fiji imports more than it exports, which contributes to its widescale trade deficit. In August 2009, the government of Australia announced that it would give Pacific island nations a relief package in the amount of $150 million to combat the effects of climate change on its agricultural production.
Every ten years since 1968, the government of Fiji has conducted an agriculture census, which enumerates and evaluates all farming programs by village, tikina and province. The information collected in the census is used by the government to make plans for agricultural reforms and rural development. The newest census has been conducted in 2009 and will be published at the end of the calendar year. (At the time of writing, new data was not available.)