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Farmers lament future

Serafina Silaitoga
Sunday, June 18, 2017

THOSE in the cane belt areas of Vanua Levu are mostly between the ages of 40 and 60.

And they believe they will be the last generation to work in sugarcane farms.

In the northern area of Macuata — where no cane harvesters are present except for manpower — farmers are worried about the industry.

Taganikula farmer Satish Chand, 52, said: "We are the last generation in my family for this canefarming business and it is the same for a lot other farmers in this area.

"Most farmers are now old and our children have moved out of the farms and started their own families," he said.

"In my younger days, I was very interested in cane farming but my children are different.

"They want to be educated and want a different job and travel abroad to start new lives with their families."

Sohan Lal, a farmer at Natabe in Daku will retire from farming in five years' time because he has not made much profit.

"I have been a farmer for 25 years and as years go by, the cost of running a cane farm gets higher," he said.

"The transport cost is also high and other expenses that I do for my farming business. All my three children are educated and working in urban centres.

"I am alone in our farm so it's better for me to leave and stay with my children."

Other farmers in the area shared the same experience.

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