Fiji Development Bank: Grandmother’s Hard Work And Struggles Pay Off
by SHRATIKA SINGH LABASA September 07
Parbha Wati can still vividly remember how she worked under the hot sun and long hours in the sugarcane farm with her six children after her husband’s death.
The 65-year-old recalled her days of work after receiving a recognition award from the Fiji Development Bank (FDB) during the bank’s Northern golden jubilee client cocktail at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa on Tuesday night.
“My youngest son was attending Year One when my husband died from chest pain,” Ms Wati of Salove, Seaqaqa said. “I had no choice, but to drive the tractor from my house to the farm while my children harvest and load cane.
“We had to make sure to work because we had to pay up the loan that my husband took from FDB. “We joined the bank in 1995 and took a loan of $28,500 to purchase a tractor. “Then we took further loans for farm development costs.
“Over the years we took a total loan of $84,800. “So at the back of my mind I had to make sure to continue farming so that we can have better yield and income to pay off the loans we took from the bank,” the grandmother of 15 said. “Despite all the trouble and pain of loss we went through FDB never lost trust in me.
Appreciation “I would like to thank FDB for their support. “I am so surprised to receive this reward because for a ordinary farmer like me we are so busy working in the farm that we do not wish for a reward other than food on the table.”
FDB general manager business risk services Nafitalai Cakacaka said through the bank’s assistance Ms Wati’s farm production increased to over 500 tonnes per year and the production level was maintained in the last seven years.
“Surplus farm income enabled her to renovate her family house, meet her children’s education expenses and as well as the wedding expenses,” Mr Cakacaka said.
“Through the bank’s assistance she was able to assist her other expenses her medical that enabled her to live a healthy and happy life.”