Fiji’s Model Sustainable Farm Manager Visits Auburn to Discuss Climate Change with CHS Students

Charlotte Tuggle | Communications Editor

Joshua Prasad talking to a group of students.

Joshua Prasad is one of the managers at Cegu Valley Farm, a permaculture farm that practices sustainability techniques in Fiji.

Joshua Prasad of the Cegu Valley Farm in Fiji, an international partner with the Office of Global Education, spoke to students in the College of Human Sciences this week about sustainability and climate change.

Cegu Valley Farm is a permaculture demonstration farm practicing sustainable farming techniques in the heart of one of the areas hardest-hit by climate change worldwide.

“There’s no more poignant place where climate change exists than Fiji. It’s basically kind of the end of the world,” Office of Global Education Director Kate Thornton said. “Over the last ten years, Cegu Valley Farm has proven the model of growing different fruits and vegetables without depleting natural resources can still be profitable.”

In Fiji, rising sea levels wash away homes and contaminate freshwater wells. The traditional, widespread business of sugarcane farming damages the land and farmers pollute the island with toxic pesticides and fertilizers.

This summer, eight CHS students will participate in internships at the farm. Shelby Sires, a junior in global studies and one of these eight interns, said past abroad experiences have opened her eyes to living more environmentally-friendly.

“I’m looking forward to learning how to farm and more about the farm-to-plate process,” Sires said. “I’m interested to see how the sustainability aspect in Fiji will affect me after the experience.”

The eight students interning at Cegu Valley Farm this summer will assist the farm managers with eco-friendly farming, including bee-keeping, planting fruits and vegetables, herding sheep, cooking and making coconut oil.

“We try to convey that whenever we do things, we help each other. Teamwork is a priority,” Joshua Prasad said. “We share ideas and what we’re trying to do is learn from each other.”

Global studies junior Haley Turner participated in the Fiji study abroad trip in 2018 and lauded the international work opportunity. This summer, she will return to Fiji as an intern with Bridge the Gap, an organization that works with the Mali tribe to increase sustainable living on the island. For more information about the Fiji study abroad experience and other global opportunities in Auburn’s College of Human Sciences, visit the Global Studies page .