HAVING patiently waiting six months for a rise in dalo (taro) prices, Taveuni farmers have every reason to celebrate this week's increase to $2 a kilogram from $1.20.
Qila settlement dalo farmer Jitendra Naidu said farmers on the island had been selling their produce for 80c-$1.20kg for about six months.
He said such prices did not compensate farmers for their hard work in the preparation and maintaining of farms.
"The increase has been lauded by the farming community on the island but not all middlemen are buying the cash crop for $2.
"There are still some who buy for $1.80 but most farmers are now selling to the agents who buy for $2.
"Farming costs are ever increasing because of the high costs in farming equipment and other expenses associated with the cultivation of the crop but it takes patience," he said.
Mr Naidu said the increase would help farmers pay bills and meet other farming costs.
Another dalo farmer Hermant Raj said the increase brought relief to many farmers.
"We are happy with the increase as it will help us increase our income and enable us to meet costs."
He said some farmers continued to plant yaqona to supplement their income when dalo prices dropped.
"Farmers prefer to focus on yaqona farming because prices remain on a high throughout the year with farmers making abundant profit depending on the amount of yaqona plants they can harvest from their farms," he said. "But dalo price rarely increases but when price increases, it is a really notable increase which yaqona farmers normally regret."