NEWS

Do Not Misuse Grant, Farmer Advises

Do not misuse Government grants. That’s the advice from a 58-year-old sugarcane farmer in Batiri Settlement in Sigatoka. Dhirend Kumar was one of the many Fijian recipients of the Government’s
31 Jan 2018 10:51
Do Not Misuse Grant, Farmer Advises
Shiu Narayan (left) with his son, Dhirend Kumar with their farming equipment at their farm at Batiri Settlement in Sigatoka on January 30, 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa

Do not misuse Government grants.

That’s the advice from a 58-year-old sugarcane farmer in Batiri Settlement in Sigatoka.

Dhirend Kumar was one of the many Fijian recipients of the Government’s small micro business grant assistance in 2015.

His farm is located on a six-acre native land lease. He is also involved in vegetable farming.

With the $1000 grant, Mr Kumar was able to buy new equipment to plough his land.

“We should use the funds given by Government in the right way that we know will uplift our lives and that our family will benefit, too,” he said.

“Sometimes people take advantage of this. They end up misusing the grant. They apply for the grant with genuine reasons but end up misusing it.”

The $1000 might be little assistance to some people but Mr Kumar said it was the kind of help rarely found.

“That grant was enough for me. You will only be content with the help given to you if you use it in the right way,” he said.

For years, Mr Kumar has been borrowing his neighbour’s ploughing equipment to use on his sugarcane farm.

“Thanks to Government I was able to buy my own and now I don’t have to burden my neighbour,” he said.

“I had never received such grant in my life as a sugarcane farmer. This is the first time. I just want to thank Government for the grant.”

Mr Kumar said if he had to borrow the same amount from a local bank it would take him two years to pay it off.  He has been living in Batiri Settlement since birth. He lives there with his 87-year-old father, Shiu Narayan, wife and two sons.

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj



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