Sustainable Forest Industries Limited
of Fiji

Genuine Big Leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) from the well managed plantations of Fiji

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SFI, Ltd.
PO Box 1119
Nabua, Fiji Islands

Meet Sakiasi "Rocky" Rokovucago

"I wanted to be involved from the start. 

It was important to be at the forefront 
of the landowner movement. 

I offered my resources for the learning curve. 
I may not get the highest profit now 
because we are still learning so much:
learning how to cut, grade and process, 
but the profit will come for all of Fiji and 
come back to my clan in the years to come, 
based on what we learn from this program now."

Sakiasi "Rocky" Rokovucago is head of Matigali Toga Clan of the Nukurua Station and oversees the well fare of 16 families who mostly survive through subsistence farming.  Rocky was born in the Sote Village of the Nukurua Station where his father was a school teacher, as well as chief.  His father was one of the first chiefs in Fiji to offer his land to the government for the original Mahogany plantations.  Rocky and his clan now maintain the largest single Mahogany planting, 2635 acres.. 

Rocky continued his father's tradition of long term thought, and was the first landowner to start commercially harvesting Mahogany with 100 acres of plantation for the government and SFI to being trial harvests.  These trials began in 2002 and they have already taught all involved a great deal about the special qualities and characteristics of the Fijian Mahogany.

The Mahogany not only provides direct income for the clan, but also employment.  18 people are involved in the felling of the logs and transport.  Rocky is also working to set up a cooperative work exchange with other nearby clans   He said, "I want my people to gain skills, not just money for trees.  I want them to be involved in harvesting even when their land is not being logged.  We need to have not just sustainable harvesting, but sustainable employment as well." 

Rocky is a retired 747 captain who flew commercially for Air Pacific from 1969 until 2002.  He says that he loved flying because it brought him closer to heaven.  He said one of his closer calls when he was in the air on his way to Los Angeles on Sept 11th.  He was told halfway there that the American airspace was closed--and he had just enough fuel to make it back to Fiji.  He has six siblings, six children and five grandchildren.  

Rocky received a scholarship to Oxford University and says that, "Education is my priority.  We have a village school with 8 classes and a total of 50-60 kids, supervised by 4 teachers.  The Fiji government pays for education until the child is 13, after that its privately funded and we need the money to put the kids into high school.  Also, even the early quality of education depends in part on fees, so they need funds to improve even the younger grades.  And I want to do more adult education--my people need more skills training, and more training in financial management.  I want to build up self-reliance." 

"I would also like to upgrade the housing, water, and sanitation conditions in the village.  I'm over 60 now, and I'm preparing for the end of my life. I want my family, my people to be fully skilled, trained and experienced for the future. I want to leave my village and the world in better shape and prepared to face the future. My father left us the Mahogany and I need to use that Mahogany to prepare my children for the future." 

SFI, Ltd.
PO Box 1119
Nabua, Fiji Islands
About SFI Environmental Information About Fiji
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