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Fiji Time: 4:52 AM on Wednesday 3 September

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Poor road conditions

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A GROUP of farmers in a settlement in the Sigatoka Valley is feeling the full brunt of bad road conditions.

Wholesalers are not showing up to collect vegetables for sale.

The vegetable farmers have to fork out extra money to transport the produce to markets in Sigatoka, Nadi and Lautoka.

"Unless our customers come to us, we have to pay for the trip from our own pockets to get the vegetables to the market," vegetable farmer Pritesh Singh said.

Mr Singh who has been a vegetable farmer for the last 30 years said the poor road conditions made it difficult for middlemen to travel to the farming settlement in Nabaka, located an hour and a half drive inland from Sigatoka Town.

"Their visits are not regular, sometimes they come and sometimes they don't. When they don't come, the vegetables that we have already harvested get damaged," another farmer Laitia Raqina said.

Mr Raqina who supplies vegetables to Lautoka, Nadi, Sigatoka and Suva said the poor roads were worsened by recent floods in March early this year.

"We can't do much because once our roads and our bridge gets damaged, we can't make any sale.

"Just recently, we had to repair one of the bridges ourselves because we have to deliver our harvests to the market."

Nakavika villager Maleli Nadrege said he had to relocate his whole vegetable farm to higher ground after the floods.

Acting divisional road engineer Joji Mate said the department would look into the problem."It is in our upgrade plans to look at the road conditions in the area," Mr Mate said.


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