Weather Fiji, Suva   Max 30°C, Min 23°C

Fiji Sun

SUNBIZ

New Mechanical Harvester For Northern Co-operative

New Mechanical Harvester For Northern Co-operative
Fiji Sugar Corporation Labasa mill manager Michael Faktaufon at the launch the Navudi and Navai Cane co-operative mechanical harvester at Navudi outside of Labasa Town on August 4,2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu
August 06
11:31 2018

Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) Labasa mill manager Michael Faktaufon has commended Navudi and Navai cane co-operatives for securing a mechanical harvester for its members.

During the reveal ceremony at Navudi outside Labasa Town on Saturday, Mr Faktaufon thanked the co-operatives for binding its members to ease harvesting problem.

“I am aware that the machine is very costly and many farmers faced problems in getting labourers to work in their farm,” Mr Faktaufon said.

“Whatever the circumstances, I am happy to note that they are resilient and wish to continue sugarcane farming.

“I must thank the farmers for their contributions towards FSC every year.”

Navudi and Navai cane co-operative president Amit Narayan said some 27 farmers would benefit from using the harvester.

“Each farmer deposited $4,050 and we took a loan from the Fiji Development Bank to purchase the $380,000 worth machine from India,” Mr Narayan said.

“The Sugar Cane Growers Fund also assisted farmers in securing loans and I must thank them.

“Although paying off the loan will take time, they are happy and relieved as they don’t have to go out as far as Bua to get labourers to harvest cane.

“I have been farming for 30 years and last year I had ten labourers working on 28 acre farm.”

Mr Narayan said acquiring the tractor would bring social benefits to the farmers as well.

“In a week, I spend around $300 on labourers’ accommodation, food, other related needs like yaqona and fish for their weekend,” he said.

“Now with this machine, my family can step in to help me load the cane to the truck as the harvesting will be done by the mechanical harvester.”

Sugar Cane Growers Fund Seaqaqa officer Sagar Dayal said the new machine had boosted the morale of the farmers.

“They had been facing lot of problems apart from labour shortage,” Mr Dayal said.

“This cooperative is located 59 kilometres away from the mill and it takes two and half hours for a truck or tractor driver to transport cane to the mill.

“Their feeling of migrating to urban areas and backing off from sugarcane farming will now be a thing of the past.”

Sugar cane farmers are increasingly opting for mechanical harvesters ever since they were introduced by Government last year.

Feedback:  shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

Related Articles