CONTRIBUTED BY LISA PAISLEY
Lisa and Zoe Paisley are the Paisley twins currently on a mission to create positive social change in the communities they work in.
Growing up in Dural, then Arcadia, the girls have always had the opportunity to collect eggs from their hens or veggies from the garden. After going to Galston High School, the Paisley twins found their passion for agriculture as they discovered the science behind food production and could see the potential for the industry to address global challenges such as climate change, food security and poverty.
Lisa and Zoe then studied Agricultural Science at University, where they had the opportunity to visit Laos and Fiji to truly understand the agricultural systems in developing and lesser developed countries. Since 2018, the Paisley twins had been living in Fiji to start up their social business Aggie Global, which helps farmers improve their production systems and sell their products to new markets, to increase farmer income and address poverty in remote communities. When Covid-19 hit in 2020, Lisa and Zoe moved back home to Arcadia.
Fiji’s economy has been hit hard by the pandemic. When the tourism industry shut down, 115,000 Fijians (one-third of Fiji’s labour force) became unemployed, and by January 2021, 64% of Fijians employed in the tourism industry lost their jobs. For farmers, 80% could no longer sell their crops and other produce as hospitality and tourism closed down.
To further exasperate things, three deadly tropical cyclones hit Fiji over the summer of 2020 and 2021, resulting in further crop waste and a loss of income. Just when the economy was stabilising and coming back to normal, the delta strain of Covid-19 hit Fiji’s shores in May this year and has since overtaken the country. With a record 873 cases in one day, covid-19 is now seemingly uncontrollable as it wreaks havoc in cities and spreads to rural villages.
Due to a lack of income and lockdown travel restrictions, families staying in lockdown struggle to access fresh fruit and vegetables. Through Lisa and Zoe’s business, Aggie Global, the Paisley twins are able to coordinate contactless pickup and deliveries of locally grown produce to support farmers during this time and feed families in need.
Lisa and Zoe recently launched a Crowdfunding Campaign to support their farmers and build healthy communities in Fiji. The Campaign allows people to subscribe to a monthly subscription fee to sponsor Aggie Global’s activities such as training farmers through online workshops or providing boxes of locally grown, fresh fruit and vegetables to Fijian families in need.
Help Lisa and Zoe empower Fijian farmers by subscribing to their Crowdfunding Campaign where you can contribute towards their work every month. Visit https://startsomegood.com/projects/aggieglobalfiji/ to help today.