THE lack of proper husbandry undertaken by farmers, the drop in cane production and the change of farm plans to subsidise costs are some contributing factors to delayed loan repayments with the Fiji Development Bank, says CEO Deve Toganivalu.
Mr Toganivalu said they noticed over the years the common situations of late loan repayments by farmers.
"Some general observations as to why cane farming projects have run into difficulties and why it fails at times is because new planting did not take place as scheduled, farms established did not have proper farm husbandry, farmers decided to farm root crops, vegetable or raise livestock thus reducing cane planting area," he said.
"There are many reasons why these things happen, not the least of which may be related to natural disasters, falling sugar prices and presence of alternative higher value crops which may be taken on for a time."
Mr Toganivalu said expiring cane leases or near expiration of leases had also affected farmers.
"It does not inspire farmers to invest in their farms, particularly if they feel or know that their leases will not be renewed," Mr Toganivalu said.
About $7.8million is owed to the FDB by cane and agricultural farmers nationwide. As a result, the bank has held under mortgage these accounts, which are equivalent to 807 accounts.
Mr Toganivalu said many cane and agricultural farmers had been with FDB for more than 30 years taking several loans over the relationship period.
He said some payment arrangements made with farmers had worked out while others had failed.
"The bank appreciates the difficulties all farmers operate under.
"We view each case individually on its merits and ensure we facilitate as best as we can within the policies and procedures that govern the bank's operations.