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Cattle farmer quits over increasing transport cost

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, February 14, 2013

A PROMINENT cattle farmer of Lalakoro, Seaqaqa has quit the trade and turned to sugarcane farming citing expensive transportation costs as the reason.

Haroon Buksh, 42, is a well known cattle farmer who regularly supplied beef to Viti Levu, particularly to the west.

He believes demand for beef continues to grow and is adamant that support from government is needed to help subsidise the costs involved.

Mr Buksh said it cost at least $1000 to cart live cattle to Viti Levu.

"I buy cows for $1000 to $2000 depending on their size and with other expenses at $1300 but this was nothing compared to what I get from the cost of each slaughtered animal which was sold at $4.50 a kilogram," said Mr Buksh.

"Out of the 40 head of cattle that I ship to Suva per trip in a month, I can make a net dividend of $13,500 as each animal would shed 300 kilograms of meat.

"But then I still had to pay the farmers in the Seaqaqa who I bought the cattle from, cost of transportation and other expenses.

"I think if given the proper assistance from government and if people are encouraged to do livestock farming, it could be the next big booming industry for the north," he said.