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A farm to withstand a cyclone: rebuilding after Fiji's worst storm

Source(s):  Guardian, the (UK)

By Nilesh Pawar in Taveuni

When Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Abhishek Sapra’s farm exactly four years ago, the damage was monumental. Sapra suffered losses of over $F500,000 (US$227,000).

[…]

“In areas with tree cover, the kava was saved since the trees created natural windbreaks, branches that fell formed a protective blanket. But where there were no trees the crops were completely uprooted,” he said.

[…]

Dr Sanjay Anand, a professor of soil science at the University of the South Pacific, says this practice of land-clearing has led to a loss of biodiversity and increase in soil erosion, and is on the rise across Fiji.

[…]

As he tried to rebuild and replant his farm in the wake of the cyclone, Sapra planted a variety of crops – intercropping kava with coffee, turmeric, ginger – in ways that mimicked the structure of nearby forests, underneath large trees to provide shelter. He has eschewed chemical fertilisers in favour of mulch and organic-based fertilisers such as those made from seaweed.

[…]



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  • Publication date 19 Feb 2020

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