Business

Farmers seek authorities help

Lack of amenities makes sugarcane farmers turn backs on industry SHEIK DEAN BA Some Ba sugarcane farmers are turning away from planting because of lease issues coupled with poor roads,
17 Mar 2014 09:28

Lack of amenities makes sugarcane farmers turn backs on industry

SHEIK DEAN
BA
Some Ba sugarcane farmers are turning away from planting because of lease issues coupled with poor roads, and water and electricity problems, a sector representative says.
Before more farmers turn their backs to the industry, there are hopes steps could be taken to prevent this from happening.
Varoko sector in Ba has more than 450 active farmers with approximately 70,000 tonnes of sugarcane produced annually.
Sector delegate Khalid Ali said the sugarcane production in the area has potential to surpass this.
But he said some 50 farmers over the past few years in the area have abandoned their farms because they don’t have electricity, face road accessibility problems, farm leases expiring and limited access to clean drinking water.
Mr Ali claims areas in the interiors of Varoku sector, which includes Vutuni and Tarivo, are still without electricity and clean drinking water.
Farmers in the area are also facing another major issue with their farms getting flooded during heavy downpours because of drainage issues. Mr Ali said because of the inadequate drainage, farms get flooded leading to a decrease in sugarcane productivity level.
Meanwhile, Ba Advisory Council chairman, Viam Pillay, said Vutuni and Tarivo are on the agenda.
However, he said changes cannot be done overnight.
“For now we are still addressing the piped water supply to Tabataba and Naruku consisting of 73 families and once completed, we will then move into Varoko sector,” he said.
Feedback: sheik.dean@fijisun.com.fj




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