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Disputes affect farmers

Salaseini Moceiwai
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

LAND disputes have been cited by the National Farmers Union as one of the contributing factors to the burning of cane farms in some parts of the country.

The situation has prompted the union to call on people involved to solve their problems amicably rather than resort to the unlawful practices.

Union president Surendra Lal said it was unfortunate that the struggles of some canefarmers were shattered prior to the crushing season.

"We are aware of reports of burnt cane farms not only here in the North but other parts of Fiji as well and we have gathered that a lot of these cases are the result of land disputes," he said.

"It's only proper for people to sit and solve their problems in an appropriate manner because burning someone's cane farm will not bring anything good.

"If people continue to burn cane, there will be less cane supplied to the mill and this can affect sugar production."

Meanwhile, Mr Lal said the delay in the commencement of the new crushing season was also worrying farmers.

"We are going through a dry spell at the moment and there is a high chance for fire to spread from one farm to another.

"Some people might unintentionally burn their waste materials and the fire can easily spread.

"It could have been better if the season was moved to mid last month and not this month."

The season is expected to commence on June 18.

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