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Joint fight to curb cane fires

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

POLICE and sugar industry stakeholders have launched a campaign to curb the rise in indiscriminate cane fires in the Western Division.

Increased patrols in hot spots and the use of police dogs to monitor and track perpetrators are some of the ways they hope to reduce the number of fires from Sigatoka to Rakiraki.

Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan said people needed to be aware that cane fires hurt everybody.

"So far, we have received just over 51,000 tonnes of burnt cane at all our mills," Mr Khan said.

"While some fires could be the result of accidents, others are very suspicious in nature and I urge people to remember that it's not only the farmer that is affected but the industry and, subsequently, the economy as well that gets affected."

Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO Sundresh Chetty welcomed the assistance of the police.

"Previously, we had the assistance of the military and that was very effective.

"But we believe the increased police presence will be just as effective," said Mr Chetty.

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