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Sayed-Khaiyum Urges Farmers: Depoliticise Sugar Issues

Sayed-Khaiyum Urges Farmers:  Depoliticise Sugar Issues
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during a talanoa session at Waiqele College in Labasa on May 31, 2017. Photo: Shratika Naidu
June 01
10:30 2017

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says we have to depoliticise sugar issues.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made the remark while addressing about 300 cane farmers during a talanoa session at Waiqele College in Labasa last night.

He said farmers needed to think in the long term.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he was aware that there was a protest by some farmers last week.

He assured the farmers at last night’s event that the Government was there for farmers.

“We are here to assist, to identify issues and help solve them. We need to think in the long term,” he said.

“We are looking into solutions to help farmers.”


Land leases

An issue of grave concern for the farmers present was their land leases.

Voicing his concern, farmer Kaansami Naicker said; “I have been a farmer all my life. When my father passed away, I took charge of the farm and now I have got only three years left and my son would not want to go into farming because land security is not there.

“Can we have a system where we would not have to renew our leases?”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “As far as the Government is concerned, if anyone wants to lease land to Government then the lease could be extended up to 99 years.

“If the landowners want, they can lease their land to Government and we could lease it to farmers. This system is called Land Bank. It is a new solution.”

Other issues raised were a need to have a bypass road, access to electricity in interior areas, and a request for maintenance of the railway system. Farmers in Wainikoro asked for Government’s assistance to provide cane harvesters for them.


Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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