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Fiji Time: 10:47 AM on Friday 25 April

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Pests upset farmer

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, February 01, 2013

A TAVEUNI copra farmer has questioned the assistance promoted by the Department of Agriculture, claiming officials have failed to help get rid of pests from his farm.

Marcus Tarte of Vatuwiri Estate in Vuna said he approached the Agriculture Ministry office on the island to assist in taking preventative measures against rats that were damaging his nursery and young copra seedlings.

Mr Tarte said about 1000 to 2000 copra seedlings were damaged on his farm and no one from the department visited him to asses the situation.

"It is disheartening to hear of government talking about their interest in reviving the industry and assisting copra farmers when nothing is really done," he said.

Principal agriculture officer northern John Cox said no complaint had been received from Mr Tarte, adding they would assist if they knew about his problems.

"However, our team on the island will be visiting the farm soon to see the real problems faced by Mr Tarte," he said.

"We will visit the farmer and ensure the copra seedlings that have been damaged are replaced with the seedlings from our nursery."