By ROSELYN ELLISON
I GNASIUS Karongi believes that there is so much money to be made from using the land.
“Agriculture or farming is the backbone of the economy. If you do not have a good academic qualification but are prepared to sweat and work hard on your land, you will get something out of it and you can live a peaceful life.”
The 18-year-old hails from one of the remotest areas of East New Britain. Maraligi is in the North Baining Local Level Government in the Gazelle district.
Ignasius only managed to reach Grade Six in school. He accepted that not everyone would do well in school. So he turned his attention to the land his father had allocated to him. Men in his family are mostly subsistence farmers who rely on the land to grow crops.
“My parents gave me land which I am currently using to plant peanuts.”
He plants mostly peanuts which he sells at the Kokopo market. He is not ashamed to walk around with his bundles of peanuts each day to sell. He enjoys what he is doing and the money he is earning.
He sells a bundle for K50 each and single loose bundles for K1 each. The peanuts are fresh from the farm and are selling fast.
“ Even though I did not go to big schools or complete my education, I will build a permanent house for myself and my parents. I will use the funds from the sales of peanuts to buy building materials.”
His gardens need replanting which he hopes to do next month.
The money earned from the sale of peanuts and other food crops is supporting farmers and their families. They pay for the family needs such as clothes plus expenses for education and health.
He urges people not only in ENB but also around the country to take agriculture seriously and use the hectares of arable land waiting to be cultivated. There is so much money there to be made.
Ignasius is not bothered by how people from Maraligi such as him are viewed by others in the province.
“We Baining people are very low-class compared to other communities in ENB. But it does not bother me. I will work hard to prove to the people that we the Maragili people can earn a living despite whatever people may say about us.”
He earned around K5000 in the past three months and plans to build a good home for his parents.
“Even though I did not go to big schools or complete my education, I will build a permanent house for myself and my parents. I will use the funds from the sales of peanuts to buy building materials.”
And he is also thinking about starting a family too.
“I want to have a good home which I can bring my future wife to so that she can be happy to stay with me.”
He believes God gives everyone an equal opportunity to make a living. The key is in making use of the opportunity.
“For example, you don’t have to get a degree to build yourself a luxury home. You have to work hard on your land, cultivate and produce crops and you will see thousands of kina every month.”