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Sugar on his mind

Maciu Malo
Friday, January 10, 2014

FORMER canefarmer Puskar Charan is keen to return to cane farming despite earning about $150 per day from selling vegetables from his farm.

The 68-year-old of Malaqereqere in Nadroga has spent about 40 years in the sugar industry but switched to vegetable farming because of the high cost of transporting cane.

"I used to produce a thousand tonnes of cane on my farm," said Mr Charan.

"Through cane farming, I have sent my three children to school and bought four properties. And if the railway is re-introduced, I will go back to cane farming.

"The non-existence of the railway system in Nadroga affected my annual production and that led me to change to vegetable farming.

"So in 2009, I started vegetable and pawpaw farming but luck was not on my side as 12,000 pawpaw plants were destroyed in 2010 because of disease.

"But I never lost hope and tried tomatoes, capsicum, beans, onions and cassava."

Mr Charan said he had been supplying vegetables to hotels on the Coral Coast and the municipal market.

"I am doing well because of the assistance from the Taiwan Technical Mission.

"The mission helps me a lot.

"They have provided the materials and the education, and every week they come and inspect my farm and advise me on what to do."





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