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We are slaves, PM told

Luke Rawalai
Saturday, July 30, 2016

AS major stakeholders in the sugar industry, canefarmers in Seaqaqa feel they have very little say in the industry's operations.

Speaking at the Seaqaqa canefarmer's consultation forum with the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Solove farmer Aktar Hussein said farmers felt they were still being treated as slaves. Mr Hussein said farmers continued to be told what to do, adding that their contribution to the industry was never recognised.

"It is a disappointment to see that they (farmers) do not have a say in policy changes of the sugar industry," he said.

"Take for example the latest sugar reform Bill where farmers did not have a say in the making of the Bill.

"We are like slaves. We are told what to do, we feel that our rights as a major stakeholder is never taken seriously by the industry."

Mr Hussein said farmers were not consulted with the changes in the price of cane payment.

"What we need is recognition for our contribution and this can only be done if we have a say in the changes that happen in the industry," he said.

Responding to Mr Aktar's comments Mr Bainimarama said that the Ministry of Sugar's permanent secretary and FSC chairman would look into his concerns.

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