A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
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Monday, March 23, 2009
Posted 4:18 PM by Tevita
No easy road to success
Monday, March 23, 2009
From : Fiji Times
ALONG the Savusavu highway Jugun Kishore's house cuts a demanding presence on a hillside with smoke constantly billowing from a huge copra dryer right beside it.
Late at night when the world is in slumber, Jugun can be found stoking his copra dryer with firewood.
"I just mix myself a basin (yaqona) to keep me awake and sometimes I have friends over for company," he said.
It's a cutthroat business when almost every second family along the highway depends on it.
Consistency and hard work are the key Jugun believes one needs to keep ahead in the game.
Every one of the villagers surrounding Belego Estate area where Jugun lives knows him by name - from the young to the old.
It's no wonder then that he's had a strong rapport and business relationship with them on a daily basis.
"I drive around buying green coconuts from 10 villages on a daily basis and over the seven years I've lived here, I have also come to know them all by name, their families, who's this one's father, who's the chief of this village and that," he said
"They sell me copra and I supply Copra Millers."
But 'Keni', as he is sometimes called, never grew up a copra farmer.
His life began on a rice farm, hundreds of miles away at Tabia in the Natewa Bay area.
Life as the son of a small scale rice farmer at Tabia in the1960s was difficult with less value placed on education than knowing the intricacies of rice farming from a pretty early age.
"I can remember by the time I was four years old, I was required on the farm," he said.
"When I was in Class One, I would help my father on the farm before I went to school.
"Sometimes I would be still helping my father when I would see other children walk by to school about two kilometres away."
"Then after I was done, I would quickly have my shower and run after the other children and most times they would be already in classes.
"My younger brother was the brains of the family, so they wanted him in school while I only went up to Class Eight and then worked on the farm to help pay for his education."
That responsibility didn't make him bitter, instead it taught him about hard work and to want something better for his children.
Seven years ago he sold off the farm at Tabia and moved to Belego because he wanted his children to achieve the highest level of education and afford a comfortable life, far from the back-breaking labor of farming.
Today his estate is spread over 16 acres of freehold land at Belego, he has a shop running, a yaqona farm booming. He is a leading copra entrepreneur and his children are tertiary qualified.
He shared parts of his story in Fijian and his mastery of the language was amazing.
"Ka bibi meda cakacaka vakaukauwa ena veivanua kece ga ni cakacaka eda veiqaravi kina," he said which roughly translates as 'hard work is important regardless of the kind of work'.
Although not very old in the copra business, something else this 49 year old man had to share was the importance of maintaining enduring relationships with his suppliers who are mostly villagers.
"I've lived my life with mostly indigenous Fijians and I know that 'ka bibi' ga na veilomani'," he said.
"Always maintaining good relations not only means I get a good supply of copra but I also have fewer problems on my hands."
"And it all takes hard work, working hard on my copra business, working hard on the farm, working hard putting my children through school and working hard at being good to others.
"Hard work is wealth," he said.
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