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Burning a concern

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, July 03, 2014

INDISCRIMINATE burning of sugarcane fields continues to be a major problem in Lautoka's rural communities.

Lautoka Rural Authority chairman Faiaz Ali said advisory counsellors have had to deal with a lot of complaints from disgruntled farmers.

"It's something that we constantly deal with and most of them arise from disputes," he said.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Police Force has been working closely with advisory councillors and the Fiji Sugar Corporation to prevent any further illegal burning of sugarcane farms.

As crushing season began in all three sugar mills in the Western Division, police launched operation Vakama Dovu in an attempt to bring the culprits to justice.

Police West spokeswoman Naina Ragigia said visibility of police officers had increased during the crushing season.

Last year, the Sugar Ministry recorded a total loss of $22million worth of sugar in 2012 and a further $11m was lost between January and August of 2013.

The ministry confirmed about $300,000 between January and June of 2014.

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