Rice farmer David content with life


RICE farmer David Natanel, 57, works hard to support his son in university.
The Bang villager from Simbai, Madang is the oldest employee at the Kokonas Indastri Koporesen, Research and Development Division.
He is married to Tangu Wadax from Bogia, Madang. They have son Jonash Natanel and adopted son Jonah Samel who attends the University of Technology.
David started work in 1992 as a groundsman. He witnessed the company evolve, changing its name through the years. It was Cocoa and Coconut Research Institute from 1993 to 2006, then it became the Cocoa and Coconut Institute from 2006 to 2017, before it became the Kokonas Indastri Research Institute in 2018.
He worked as a security guard looking after the research trials before he was asked to shift to rice farming as part of the research programme.
“I am not an educated man but I humbled myself and learned from scientists and bosses about the processes and procedures of rice farming.”
He loves his work although he receives less than K200 fortnightly which he uses wisely to put food on the table for his family and support his son in university.

“ I am not an educated man but I humbled myself and learned from scientists and bosses about the processes and procedures of rice farming.”

He also loves to promote coconut farming system research by carrying out tasks assigned by his bosses to assist coconut farmers in the country.
The coconut agronomy and farming system is one of the programmes under the Kokonas Indastry Koporensen research and development division. It looks for farming system options which are profitable to coconut farmers.
David loves to work in the rice and coconut fields and during his vacation spends time in the beautiful mountains of Simbai.
“It is my desire to take my rice farming knowledge, skills and experience to my village and apply the skills and knowledge to help fellow village people.”
He hopes to get the District Development Authority top support fellow rice farmers in the village, especially building a road which is the biggest problem they face.
Life can be challenging with the little pay he gets against the high cost of living.
“But I never complain about the pay I get every fortnight because I know God is taking care of my needs. That is the reason I enjoy my work.
“I work hard so that my sons won’t be like me but be well educated and have a good decent life.”
David always advises his sons and other young village people to go a step further than his generation who never enjoyed the education opportunities they have today.
“It is disappointing to see some children today living the same kind of life as their parents and grandparents, instead of being innovative and doing something better.”
David plans to retire once his son finishes from Unitech. He will go back to the village and concentrate on rice farming.
His advice to people is always be thankful for what you have and never complain because everything is a blessing from God.
“Manage what you have wisely and learn to appreciate what you have. As the Bible says, whatever your hands find to do, do it with all thy might.”