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No cane to harvest

Salaseini Moceiwai
Monday, June 02, 2014

SOME farmers in Macuata will not reap the rewards of their hard labour after their cane farms were destroyed by fire last week.

And just a fortnight before the new crushing season, the farmers will have to look for alternative means to put food on the table and pay for household expenses.

Nagigi farmer Jiwan Dutt Lal said his six-acre farm was razed last Thursday.

"I was motionless when I saw the blaze destroying my farm at about 1pm," he said.

"I couldn't do much because the fire had spread quickly. I am really angry and I don't know what to do. A report has been lodged to police and I only hope they take the culprit in.

"The new crushing season is just around the corner and it's heartbreaking that our hard work has been completely destroyed."

Mr Lal said cane farming was the only source of income for his family.

"Now, I will have to venture into vegetable farming to support my family financially. I want to continue with cane farming and I am requesting the government to assist farms with weedicide and cane fertiliser for our farms."

Another farmer Mool Deo expressed similar feelings, saying his eight-acre land was destroyed by fire in the same area. "I have also lodged a report to police about this matter."

When contacted yesterday, divisional police commander northern SSP Naulumatua Lutunacaucau said he was not aware of the matter in Nagigi.

However, he said he would look into the matter and confirm the reports today.

The cane crushing season is expected to commence on June 18.

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