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Farmers have no market

Luke Rawalai
Saturday, March 01, 2014

THE Welagi Jezreel Youths' farming scheme in Taveuni is concerned at the lack of dalo markets on the island.

Group leader Ioane Cokanauto said the group had 80,000 dalo plants ready for harvest but no market to sell them to.

Mr Cokanauto said they had been searching for markets over the past few weeks.

"It is sad because we have been hearing the authorities say there is a need to plant more dalo and that productivity for the crop is at a low," he said.

"Now, when we have produced the crop it is sad that there are no suitable market where we can sell our crop."

Delaivuna farmer Emilio Qiolele said farmers in his area had been in the dark about the availability of markets, and they were not able to sell their crop in the past month.

"The agents who used to come and buy our dalo no longer comes around and most of us have harvested our dalo," he said.

"We are also worried about our income because there is no market."

Attempts to get a comment from Principal Agricultural Officer Northern John Cox yesterday were futile.

However, Minister for Agriculture Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu earlier told this newspaper the market demand for dalo existed but the problem was the price fixed by middlemen.

He said there was never a shortage of markets but added the unregulated price of dalo was the problem.

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