SUNCITY

Western Farmers Happy

The waiting is over for farmers in the Western Division. The New Year brought the needed rain – helping end the dry spell which was slowly destroying crops, water sources
03 Jan 2016 10:30
Western Farmers Happy
Henry Jacob Raju holds a handful of soil from his family cane farm in Vitogo Lautoka after the rainfall Photo: Salote Qalubau

The waiting is over for farmers in the Western Division.

The New Year brought the needed rain – helping end the dry spell which was slowly destroying crops, water sources and livestock.

Vitogo, Lautoka sugarcane farmer, Henry Jacob Raju was among those who welcomed the rain.

“We work hard every day on our eight-acre of sugarcane field and really suffered during the prolonged dry spell,” Mr Raju said.

“During the dry spell our crops were affected. We couldn’t do much and its effect will show on our  cane tonnage which would decrease.

“Now that the rain has come, it is a timely gift for us. It still continues and hope it remains like this for some time.”

He said South Pacific Fertilizers, during the dry spell, supplied them with fertilizers and weedicides.

“Last year the cane season was not that good because of the dry spell. Usually we harvest about 200-250 tonnes of cane. We hope that next cane season the weather conditions will be favourable so that farmers don’t suffer like this.”

Tagitagi, Tavua farmer Vikashni Naicker, 32, said she cried when rain fell last week.

She has a 10-acre farm which grows sugarcane, vegetables and livestock – 12 goats and 10 sheep.

Mrs Naicker also works as machinist at the Meenoos Garment Factory in Ba.

She is the sole breadwinner in her household since her husband died last September.

“I am now the sole provider to my family and I had to prioritise. About two months of dry spell and we are happy to see rain again. I cried when the rain  came,” she said.

“It was really hard to look after our livestock so we had to sell a few of them because the grasses were dry which meant we did not have enough good pastures for the animals to feed on. We hope that we will be receiving more rain in the coming days,” she said. Edited by Maikeli Seru

Feedback:  saloteq@fijisun.com.fj

 

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