A GROUP of copra farmers in Cakaudrove have welcomed the new copra price with a sigh of relief.
The government last week increased the copra price from $500 to $780 a tonne.
In the Buca Bay area, some farmers believe the new price would lighten high transport costs to Savusavu.
Siale Tunoka, the assistant village headman of Vunikura, said the increased price would also assist parents taking care of school fees and other household bills.
"We are happy that the government has increased the copra price as this will help a lot of villagers in this area who mainly depend on copra for income," Mr Tunoka said.
"The price of copra has been low for some time and most farmers have had to do other cash crop farming to help them financially.
"It has also resulted in some farmers travelling to Taveuni to plant dalo because of the need to have more income to support the families."
Mr Tunoka said the increased price would now result in men spending more time at home with their families as they work on their copra farms while awaiting the matured season for dalo on Taveuni.
Cakaudrove-i-Wai district representative Viliame Kabolo said farmers had been blessed.
"For long, we have cried for increased price and the government has given it to us which is welcoming news for many," Mr Kabolo said.
"This will mean that farmers will still have some spare money to do shopping after paying transport costs of taking the copra to Savusavu.
"We are grateful that the price has increased and farmers will be greatly assisted."