SUNBIZ

Farmers Call For Help, Stop Burning

A group of Sugarcane farmers in Veisaru, Ba, are calling higher authorities to monitor the current rate of cane burning in the Western Division. Advisory councillor Chandra Sudhakar, 70, a
13 Aug 2015 10:40
Farmers Call For Help, Stop Burning
Josevata Tora, 45, at his burnt cane farm in Veisaru, Ba yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A group of Sugarcane farmers in Veisaru, Ba, are calling higher authorities to monitor the current rate of cane burning in the Western Division.

Advisory councillor Chandra Sudhakar, 70, a former school teacher, has take up sugarcane farming in the last 25 years.

He said toiling on his land of nine acres and to see five acres burnt on Tuesday night was a heart ache which all farmers goes through.

“This is a pity someone comes from nowhere and set alight the farms into flames and we do not know it is,” said Mr Sudhakar.

“We have certain time frame to deliver the cane to the mill otherwise there are penalties we have to bear for someone else mischievous acts. It is a loss of $8000 as a farmer.”

Josevata Tora, 45, shared the same sentiments where he lost about 70 tonnes of cane in fire.

He said it is a double loss for him as a farmer since he has to pay more to attract cutters in a short period of time.

“When cane is cut normal a cane cutter is paid $8 per tonne but when it is burnt and trying to clear within seven day we have to fork $20.

“Which is double and we are on the loss in terms of feeding the cane cutters too,” he added.

Aporosa Tora, 50, said he lost close to 50 tonnes of burnt cane.

“I am not sure how it happened but these people need to be taken to task.

“When the army was around there was no burning and I think they should be roaming the fields so farmers like us do not suffer,” Mr Tora said.

Member of Parliament Ashneel Sudhakar said he has been visiting a lot of the farmers in Rakiraki, Tavua, and Ba cane belt areas.

“I have received a lot of comments from the sugarcane farmers regarding this arson and damaging of property and happens average on every night.

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