Fiji Time: 3:20 PM on Monday 18 December

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Payout did not 'benefit' all canefarmers

Luke Rawalai
Monday, June 19, 2017

CONCERNED farmers say the $3.3million given to farmers of the $10 million recently distributed to bail them out of their debts only benefitted some farmers.

Hamid Khan of Natua said hardworking farmers paid their debts before the distribution of money to aid farmers.

Mr Khan said the least that Government could have done was to distribute the money to farmers equally according to their tonnage of cane.

Another farmer in the same sector, Asraf Khan, said it was unfair for farmers who worked hard to pay off their debts.

Mr Khan said farmers gave their all during the past season hoping to get their fair share of Government assistance in any form.

He said when the distributions were made most farmers had settled their debts so there was a small minority of farmers who benefitted.

"I think what Government could have done was share the money equally among farmers in the North to benefit us all.

"There is no use when some benefit and the rest don't. It is simply unfair."

Another farmer Biswas Kumar said Government should have consulted farmers on how the money was to be spent instead of making a decision based on what it thought was the best for all farmers.

Mr Kumar said most farmers did not benefit from the payout.

Earlier Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed that $3.3 million out of the $10 million set aside by Government to bail farmers out of their debts had been distributed to canefarmers in the Northern Division.

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