NATION

Farmers Hold AGM At Labasa

Farmers in Labasa held their annual general meeting yesterday at the Saint Mary’s Primary School. The Northern farmers were pleased to host their general secretary, Mahendra Chaudhry, at the one-day
01 Mar 2015 10:07
Farmers Hold AGM At Labasa
National Farmers Union general secretary Mahendra Chaudhry (right), and Surendra Lal during the AGM in Labasa yesterday. Photo: Peni Drauna

Farmers in Labasa held their annual general meeting yesterday at the Saint Mary’s Primary School.

The Northern farmers were pleased to host their general secretary, Mahendra Chaudhry, at the one-day meeting.

Mr Chaudhry highlighted some important issues that farmers need to take into account.

“Farmers make up 70 per cent of the sugar industry and they also need to be heard at decision-making level,” Mr Chaudhry said.

He said with this present government farmers’ grievances were not heard and they faced a lot of problems.

“Farmers are the once that is keeping the mill and the sugar industry operating and they should be heard,” Mr Chaudhry said.

Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar, Voreqe Bainimarama, has said the Sugar

Cane Industry was a national issue, not a political issue.

“If the Industry is to have any chance of long-term success and prosperity – which we believe it does – politics must be removed from the equation,” he said.

“All stakeholders need to work together in the best interests of the Industry and the 200,000 Fijians who rely on it for their livelihoods. There must be a commercial approach as has been taken in Mauritius.

“No one will deny the challenges that the industry faces in the years ahead. But unlike those who have only negative things to say without offering any solutions, we are fully committed to the survival, prosperity and future viability of Fiji’s Sugar Cane Industry.

“It’s no secret that the reform programme hasn’t been easy. But I’m pleased to report that through determination, innovation and a lot of hard work, those who work with me on the front line – keeping this vital part of our economy turning – have succeeded.”

The AGM discussed issues that ranged from cane price, the reinstatement of growers council, crop rehabilitation programme, quality cane payment system to land rent and the Fiji Sugar Corporation annual financial reports.

The farmers’ union president in Labasa, Surendra Lal, said the meeting was a productive one because farmers had the chance to raise issues concerning sugar cane productions.

Feedback:  peni.drauna@fijisun.com.fj

 

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