FARMERS in Taveuni are digging deeply into their pockets to take stringent measures to counter the age old problem of dalo and yaqona theft in farms across the island.
Qila farmer Ashnil Kumar said dalo farmers in Taveuni have their farms attacked by thieves at least every week filling two to five bags of dalo.
"We have come to the point where we now have to dig deeper in our pockets to set-up farm houses for our labourers to guard our farms every day and night," he said.
"We have lodged reports with police every now and then and there is hardly any feedback from police officers."
"Police could set-up operations to monitor dalo buyers on the island to keep tag of stolen crops as we have fewer buyers on the island but nothing as such is done here," he said.
Another farmer Prakash Sami said reports lodged with police have not been effective because the thefts continue to increase.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said that police in Taveuni are doing all they can in curbing the problem.
"Our farmers will tomorrow (today) conduct a farm profiling where they put together information about farmers within the area," she said.
"A meeting with farmers is expected to be conducted also on the island so police can talk about issues that can help farmers curb the issue."
"Since October 1 there were 49 reports of dalo thefts in Taveuni and to date 29 people have been arrested and charged."
"However there is a need for improved partnership with the community and some areas the police is hoping the community can help with are the quick reporting of thefts."
Ms Naisoro said that farmers have also lodged reports with police a few days after their farms get attacked by thieves which made it difficult for police to track down any leads.