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ANALYSIS: Farmers Are Not Fools, They Know What Is Realistic

Farmers in the North are looking forward to crushing which starts today. This is a much-awaited event in sugarcane-farming communities because it boosts their income which benefits families and businesses.
01 Jun 2017 11:00
ANALYSIS: Farmers Are Not Fools, They Know What Is Realistic
Fiji Labour party Provisional candidate Surendra Lal.

Farmers in the North are looking forward to crushing which starts today.

This is a much-awaited event in sugarcane-farming communities because it boosts their income which benefits families and businesses.

But perhaps the ones who are the most excited about this are the farmers who depend on it for their only source of income.

A recent attempt by the Fiji Labour Party-linked National Farmers Union to ‘rock the boat’ was unsuccessful.

Fewer than about 100 of the 3200 farmers in the North, representing only three per cent, marched through the main street of Labasa Town before handing a petition against the Government last Friday.

Leading the march was the National Farmers Union President Surendra Lal who claimed that they represented close to 500 farmers in Macuata.

But even if 500 farmers did sign the petition, they only represented 15 per cent of farmers in the division.

The Fiji Labour Party, the political arm of NFU, shamelessly claimed on social media that about 400 people took their petition to the streets.

The march, was supposed to start at 10am, but was delayed for a while because they lacked the number of people they projected would turn up to the event.

It became a laughing matter.

Many farmers interviewed dissociated themselves from the march saying they did not support it. They said they were preparing for the harvest.

Another non-government organisation that also looks after the welfare of the farmers in Macuata, says that the march was totally uncalled for.

The Labasa Cane Producer Organisation led by Mohammed Rafiq said they were grateful for the current price of sugarcane that they were receiving.

Some went on to say that the march was politically motivated.

It’s obvious, the FLP through the NFU in Labasa, was trying to recapture its old glory days.

The NFU had raised issues that would work on the minds of the farmers to fulfil its political agenda.

But the farmers are not fools; they know what is realistic.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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