NATION

Bulldozed Crops Pains Farmers

Some residents of Vunisamalaoa Subdivision and Kenani Settlement at Rarawai, Ba, are seeking answers after their vegetables and crops were bulldozed last month. Farmer Mesulame Nakiole claims his cassava farm
22 Oct 2015 09:38
Bulldozed Crops Pains Farmers
Yankat Sami shows the bulldozed area of land where his plantation was in Kenani settlement,Rarawai,Ba .

Some residents of Vunisamalaoa Subdivision and Kenani Settlement at Rarawai, Ba, are seeking answers after their vegetables and crops were bulldozed last month.
Farmer Mesulame Nakiole claims his cassava farm planted on his three-acre land near the Vunisamalaoa Subdivision Road was bulldozed by workers of the Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Rarawai Mill.
Mill general manager Sailasa Waitawa declined to comment when contacted.
“Without a written notice they bulldozed my cassava farm and also spilled soil into my fish pond which I had spent $10,000 to make,” Mr Waitawa said.
“It’s not fair because I planted about 500 cassava plants and out of that, 300 were mature. That was my source of income along with the fish pond.
“This is not only affecting me, it also affected other farmers because this is our bread and butter.”
Kini Mocelutu, of Kenani Settlement said crops he planted on a piece of land owned by FSC were also bulldozed.
“We know that this land belongs to FSC, but what hurts is that without a notice, they just came and bulldozed our crops,” Mr Mocelutu said.
“We asked the driver of the bulldozer why he was bulldozing our crops and all he said was he was given the directive from the FSC Rarawai, Mill.”
Yankat Sami, 90, had lived at the settlement since he was a teenager.
“There are a lot of houses here. The crops used to hold the soil, and now that it’s all gone. We are now vulnerable to landslides during this time when it usually rains,” he said.
Waisale Muatini, 59, made similar comments.
“My family was looking forward to harvesting our crops for Christmas, but now we have nothing,” he said.
“My cassava farm which had more than 100 plants, banana trees, coconut trees and breadfruit trees were all run down, nothing was spared.”

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