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Farmers feel pinch on business

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, June 13, 2014

A NEW trend of yaqona sale from farms on Taveuni has affected some businesses.

Farmer and former advisory councillor James Sami says middlemen buy the yaqona plants, dry it and sell at $3 a kilogram.

He said in the past, middlemen would buy waka (roots) and pounded grog from the farmers instead of buying directly from the farms.

"They now buy plants and this is becoming popular so farmers like us trying to sell waka and pounded grog have to find other markets," Mr Sami said.

"So we are finding it difficult to secure new buyers. Some farmers are still selling but not as good as what used to be."

Mr Sami said the affected yaqona business has had an impact on their families.

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