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Fiji Time: 4:13 AM on Friday 25 April

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Early closure raises ire

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, December 07, 2012

COPRA farmers in Cakaudrove have expressed displeasure at the early closure of the copra mill in Savusavu this week.

The farmers of Buca Bay and Natewa who depend on copra for income claim they were not given enough time to sell their dried copra.

Considering transportation challenges, the farmers believe officials of Copra Millers should have informed them two weeks before the closure.

Iosefo Raininiu of Buca Bay said the farmers met early this week to discuss options of getting their dried copra to the mill.

"We all have to hire one carrier to load our copra and take it to the mill before it closes this week," he said.

"The mill usually closes on Christmas week and this gives us time to dry our copra and take it to the mill by end of the month.

"But because it is shutting down this week, we have to pack whatever copra we have and take it to the mill which is why we have hired a vehicle."

Malakai Serenivakula, a farmer of Navonu, said most copra farmers depended on their copra income for Christmas and New Year.

"The mill usually closes on Christmas week so the farmers can supply more copra and earn more money during the festive season."

This week, Copra Millers chairman Ilisoni Taoba said the month-long closure was to allow for mill maintenance.