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Fiji Time: 6:48 PM on Tuesday 2 September

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Farmers request increase in copra price

Salaseini Moceiwai
Friday, January 04, 2013

A GROUP of farmers in Vanua Levu has requested government for an increase in the price of copra to help in meeting their daily expenses.

With copra as their main source of income, the farmers from Dreketi in Macuata said it was difficult to save extra money because expenses were high.

Farmer Bimal Deo said the drastic drop in the price of copra had greatly affected his business operation.

"Before, the price of one tonne copra was more than $1000 but now I am selling it at $503 per tonne," Mr Deo said.

"Given the high transportation and labour cost, food and other family expenses, I can at least save $50 from selling copra.

"The price is almost the same as the expenditure and I am humbly requesting government to look into our plight as most of us depend on this business for our livelihood."

Another farmer Ami Chand said most of the farmers have deviated from copra farming because of the low price.

"We sell our copra to local buyers in Labasa every fortnight and sometimes it's really hard for us to save money as our income is used to pay for expenses," he said.

"Most of the farmers have left for other income-generating projects because the income they receive from selling copra is not assisting their family needs."

Principal agricultural officer northern John Cox said there was no fixed price for copra.

Mr Cox said it was the world market prices that affected the demand and supply of the commodity.


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