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Farmers to make struggle known

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, January 13, 2014

RICE farmers in the North who suffered through financial hardships last year have collectively decided to make their struggles known to the government.

After a month of not being able to sell their rice paddies because of mill problems, the farmers said it was time to take the issue up with the authorities.

Farmer Payara Jajja said they had been without any money for the past month.

"We have not been able to sell our paddies because of the mill breakdown but at least arrange another markets so that farmers can get some money," Mr Jajja said.

"Right now most of us don't have any money and some of us are worried about sending our children back to school.

"There is no money to buy the uniforms and books."

Mr Jajja said they would seek an audience with Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama when he visits the North to commission the Seaqaqa Dreketi Electrification Project.

"That's the best option we have right now because we know he will help us.

"I feel sorry for the farmers who have kids to send back to school.

"They are worried every day about the welfare of their children."

A machine at the Rewa Rice Mill in Dreketi broke down before Christmas last year resulting in the situation with the farmers.