Vuma Village on Ovalau is thriving with its yaqona project known as ‘Vakabula Vanua’.
Village spokesman Usaia Delai said the project, which had the support of the Government, started in 2011, but Tropical Cyclone Winston damaged most of their yaqona plantations.
“We still continued with the project after TC Winston, specifically for housing developments,” he said.
“Only four houses were built before the cyclone and were not damaged. Most of the other houses in the village were badly affected.
“For the Vakabula Vanua project, all village youths were required to plant 700 yaqona mounds every year.”
He said their yaqona cuttings were brought from Sawaieke Village in Gau.
Part of the project, he said was for youths not to consume yaqona from Monday to Thursday.
“They sleep in their farm houses from Monday to Thursday and return to the village on Friday,” Mr Delai said.
“Youths can only harvest when the plants are matured.
“From then they will be able to have new homes with furniture from their yaqona income.
This project he said had the support of the church, vanua and the Government.
Edited by Percy Kean