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Fiji Time: 10:12 AM on Monday 22 September

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Growers receive farming material

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, June 26, 2014

ABOUT 6700 canegrowers in Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki will receive cane knives, gloves and sharpening files this week.

The farming implements are being distributed to productive growers by the Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association from the sale of Fairtrade sugar.

The association received $2.4million, a significant increase from the $1.4m it received last year.

Executive manager Sanjina Narain said one of the biggest challenges the association faced was the queries received and comparisons made to other cane producer associations in the country.

"We receive roughly the same premium as Lautoka and Labasa, even though we have the most members.

"Of the 14,000 growers in the country, we represent almost half."

Ms Narain handed out the farming tools to canegrowers while conducting awareness sessions about the stringent requirements mandated by Fairtrade.

"Every farmer is important to us and to the future of this country.

"That is why it is vitally important that everyone follows the rules — no child labour and no use of banned chemicals like paraquat and gramoxone.

"Because when one farmer infringes, everyone suffers."

The association set aside a budget of $120,000 for the farm gear.