SUNBIZ

Cane Farm Water Salinity Raised

The water salinity from sugarcane prime farm lands has been raised again as a major contributor to non-utilisation of land at some sugarcane belt areas. These were concerns raised by
24 May 2015 10:32
Cane Farm Water Salinity Raised
Members of the Committee for Better Utilisation of Lands during the CBUL divisional taskforce meeting at the Commissioner Northern’s. Photo: MARAIA VULA

The water salinity from sugarcane prime farm lands has been raised again as a major contributor to non-utilisation of land at some sugarcane belt areas.

These were concerns raised by some sugarcane farmers from Wailevu, Korovatu and Bucaisau outside Labasa town during the Committee for Better Utilisation of Lands (CBUL) consultation.

Concerns were raised again during the CBUL divisional taskforce meeting chaired by Commissioner Northern Division Jovesa Vocea.

Divisional Planning Officer North Alipate Bolalevu said some farmers had raised that the dry season was around the corner and that the drains were filled with salt water up to the top.

Mr Bolalevu reiterated that some farmers have shared that they could not plant sugarcane because of the issue.

Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Water Resource Management, senior engineer, Joseva Sautu, said they have inspected the floodgates and would close these in due course.

“For the blocking of the flood gates we have done it last year, and we have advised our field officer to block it now as we are approaching the dry season,” he said.

“For the salt water intrusion we have just recently advertised our rehabilitation work for our drainage scheme tender.

“This will be conducted and hopefully by next month everything will be finalised.”

It is understood because of this issue some farmers have left their farms.

Mr Bolalevu had suggested that soil tests be conducted so that they can find solutions such as reclamation of land.

“May be land reclamation can be a solution but all this can be properly sorted if we work together and conduct soil tests to be done at the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji in Lautoka,” he said.

“Land reclamation exercise might be a costly exercise in the short run but it would be beneficial to the economy in the long run as we will pay the expenses back and have a good output.”

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

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