CALLS have been made by cane farmers in Lautoka to have Fiji National Provident Fund deductions made from cane payments.
The plea was made during consultations between cane growers and sugar industry stakeholders at the Sugar Cane Growers Council conference centre in Lautoka yesterday.
Qalitu farmer Jamardan Pillay, 55, said he had made several requests to have FNPF deducted from his cane payment but had not been given any response regarding the issue from industry authorities. He said farmers deserved to be paid a pension once they retired from cane cultivation like workers in other industries.
"I am getting old and I wanted a deduction of FNPF through the cane payment," Mr Pillay said.
"I have been planting cane for the last 30 years and imagine how much I would have saved if my FNPF deductions had begun 30 years ago.
"We also want the FNPF pension payment to be made available to us after retiring from the cane fields."
SCGC acting chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty said talks were in progress between the council, Fiji Sugar Corporation and the FNPF to accommodate the desires of the farmers.
"We have received many submissions from farmers wanting to deduct FNPF from their cane payments," Mr Chetty said.
"The council is doing its best in accommodating the farmers' wishes." More than 200 farmers attended the meeting in Lautoka.