SUNBIZ

Cane severely damaged, vegetable prices to go up

The devastating effect of the Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston is already taking its toll on our sugar cane farmers in the West. A number of farmers the Fiji Sun West
24 Feb 2016 11:53
Cane severely damaged, vegetable prices to go up
Cyclone Winston

The devastating effect of the Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston is already taking its toll on our sugar cane farmers in the West.

A number of farmers the Fiji Sun West team spoke to were pessimistic of the outcome of their harvest.

Edwin Raju, 37, of Vitogo, Lautoka, has dedicated 13 acres of his farm to sugar farming for the past 27 year.

“There has been a lot of damage and for this season we will harvest less sugar cane. We have lost livestock too and this is a bad picture for us,” he said.

Madhur Narayan, 60 of Drasa No 1 Road, has 8.5 acres of sugar on the ground.

“This is a huge loss as sugar cane has been our bread and butter for all this years,” he said.

“I was expecting to harvest 300 tonnes in the coming season and has changed – it really hurts.”

Fiji Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO Sundresh Chetty confirmed that the low lying areas in the Western division were mostly affected.

“I have been to nearby areas today like Drasa, and Lovu and to be honest the crops are severely damaged,” he said.

“This is apart from the damage alone that affected the properties.”

Mr Chetty said they would gather more information once the water level is reduced later in the week.

His team have yet to visit Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki.

 

Expect vegetable prices to rise

The public are also expected to fork out more money on vegetables in the coming days.

Ministry of Agriculture principal officer (West) Vinesh Kumar said this is due to the damaged farms in the western division.

“We are on the ground assessing but yet to complete since TC Winston. The Western division was not spared.

“We have noticed that leafy vegetable farms have been severely damaged from Lautoka to Rakiraki areas,” he said.

“Livestock mainly large ones have been lost in this cases and  a few poultry sheds been blown away too.

“We have received reportsthe Salad bowl of Fiji (Sigatoka) have been damaged by the winds.”

He added they are yet to confirm the total value of the loss.

 

EDITED BY: ROSI DOVIVERATA

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

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