Fisherman Nari, Sogeri


In the 1960s, Sogeri’s landscape changed forever. The Sirinumu Dam devoured the land, and a large artificial lake was created in the heart of mountains. The farm land went under water and the villagers were asked to resettle. Fisherman Nari’s family moved to the higher ground and found a new livelihood instead.

Golden, juicy pineapples became a source of income for the entire community. In the last decade and a half, pineapples have paid for bride price, school fees and haus krais. As pineapple farmer Fisherman says, “Earlier, we would go looking for money. Now money finds us.” He is referring to a solid partnership with CPL Group’s Stop & Shop, where he supplies 1000 kg of pineapples a week, from October to February.

But the journey from farm to shelf is tough. The Eat Smart Campaign team traced it over a boat ride through tree trunks, almost giving a sensation of under-water forests. The lake is large and Fisherman must go back and forth a couple of times a day to move his produce. And, then an hour-long road trip down the mountains to Port Moresby.

When pineapples go out of season, Fisherman turns to ginger and fishing to support himself. “Typically, one would perceive life in village as difficult. But here I am at Varitanumu village, with a house of my own, connected to electricity, children in schools – my land made it possible. It was the best decision to come back to my land and till it.”

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