A team led by Farm Boy’s Mr. Kamlesh Prasad, with delegates from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries visited the Farm Boy site. This excursion was part of the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week being held in Nadi Fiji from 29 June to 03 July 2015.
Farm boy is a success story and hero that has been highlighted throughout the Week.
“A lot of times, we complain when things go wrong – the way we don’t expect. Sometimes when our targets are not met, all we have to do is to accept it and move forward. Even if the challenge is too costly or you know that you will have a big loss. After all, progress will return”, says Kamlesh Prasad, the leader of Farm Boy during the site visit.
Being Farm Boy
Climbing challenges leading to success is not an easy task. Sometimes farmers fail when challenges come up their way at the beginning of becoming successful. However, it was Mr. Prasad’s advice to all farmers that “challenges will come to make you succeed”.
Local farmers are potentially encouraged to invest their time in agriculture as well as linking it to tourism. To ensure that farmers become active drivers of change, they really need to invest their time in farming.
Farm Boy employs around 10-12 staffs. It is not well-settled yet, but has paved itself a way ahead to being an example to others. It supplies quality fresh fruits, juice, pulp, vegetables, herbs and root crops domestically and has recently promoted to export to New Zealand.
“We supply all goods and vegetables that are Fiji grown. One thing we always bare in mind is that different customers have different requirements and request. Therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that quality is what they can trust from us”.
Due to the demand from hotels and individuals, Farm Boy has taken the perspective to import locally grown products just to cover short falls in local supplies or expected demands of clients. This is part of a growing agricultural contribution in Fiji, of which other farmers from other regions can learn from.
Sometimes, you don’t always have to wait for the government to do things that you expect. You need to act upon it first and they can realise and act to support you. There is a quote that say: “I realise that somebody did not do anything about it, but then I realise that I am somebody”.
You are somebody. We are all somebody. So if there is need to do anything, then it is us, ourselves, who will do it.
Learning from lessons
All farmers and chefs have different stories to tell. All have shared experiences and have learned from each other.
Conversely, there are certain ‘hooks’ that have sometimes been identified as barriers to success within the Pacific islands. Farm Boy has identified few.
“Financial constraints; human resource, Agri-Tourism legislations and marketing networks can be a lesson learn from us”, says Prasad.
Other farmers may have other challenges additional to what has been mentioned. The next question to ask is: how can we move on despite these challenges?
According to the week’s scheduling and programme, farmers and chefs have had their chance to share experiences and success between them. The best way to motivate others succeed is to identify weaknesses and strengths and move forward.
“Farming is a difficult thing to do. To ensure that farm boy exists and succeeds, there is need to really invest in time. My wife and i have to work every day to make sure that by the end of everyday there is money in our hands to meet unexpected expenses”, says Prasad
According to Prasad, we should be an example to others. And it’s simple; “a great farmer is a committed farmer”.
Blogpost by Deffnie Thompson, Social Reporter for the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week 2015.