THE activities of middlemen should not be criticised because they also contribute to addressing the high demand of agricultural produce in market places.
"We can't control the middlemen," Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said.
"The middlemen are also part and parcel of the business.
"They facilitate those that live in the interior and who can't travel to the market.
"They come to these villages and they transport those goods to the urban centre where they will sell them."
He said the issue of those buying stuff from farmers and selling them in the market at a higher price should not be criticised.
"Well the middleman has to pay for the expenses he is using to get to these hard to reach places.
"And the advantage of the middleman is they also employ people.
"They are giving money to those they hire to work for them and to those that go and buy the crops and vegetables from.
"Those that are complaining about the middlemen are the ones that complain about the costs.
"They shouldn't complain about the middlemen because they are assisting them."
The Commissioner Western was responding to concerns of Nawairuku farmers in Ra who have been dependent on middlemen for many years.
Village headman Waisea Nagonelevu said the buyers travel to their villages and buy produce at very cheap prices.