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Fiji Time: 8:36 AM on Friday 25 April

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Farmer pleads for assistance

Maciu Malo
Monday, December 23, 2013

TAVUA farmer Suresh Chand has not given up hope on replanting after his 10-acre cane, corn and watermelon farm was destroyed by the heavy downpour and flooding.

The 38-year-old said he spent about $10,000 on land preparation and planting, which was later destroyed by the flood.

"All newly-planted cane, cassava, watermelon and corn were destroyed in the flood," Mr Chand said.

"I bought this farm for $68,000 this year and spent another $10,000 to prepare the land and plant cane.

"In addition, I have incurred another $15,000 in damage and I don't know what to do at the moment but hope if I get some assistance from the government that would be much helpful in my effort to rebuild my life.

"Despite all these circumstances because of flooding, I will continue farming because I have to pay off a loan — that's the reason I have to continue farming."

Mr Chand said poor drainage was the main reason for flooding.

"I have complained on numerous occasions about the drainage problem but nothing is being done.

"I don't know much about my harvest next year because I am a new farmer. I started cane farming this year and hopefully I will be able to recover from this loss."

He said many farmers in the Nabuna flat areas were badly affected by the flood.