Fiji Time: 12:49 PM on Wednesday 23 August

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The future looks gloomy, says Mohammed Farid

Luisa Qiolevu
Monday, June 19, 2017

A SILENT tear in the dark of the night is the only reaction that some farmers in the North have as they cannot meet their financial needs.

A 48-year-old sugarcane farmer of Nabekavu — Mohammed Farid — described their current situation as a sad story.

"We cannot tell anyone of the struggle we face, but instead we put in to our prayers and hope that one day it will be answered," he said.

Mr Farid said the high cost of living had caused a lot of farmers to pack and leave.

"We have a lot of payments to do and with that comes land rent, labour cost, payments for loans, tractors and other deductions which are too much again for us to pay," he said.

"Some of us would just pack and leave because they cannot handle the pressure."

Mr Farid said they no longer believed in a brighter future in the cane fields.

"The future looks gloomy right now for many of us," he said.

"Our land rent is too much and there comes fertiliser and other deductions and we sometimes end up with very little money left to support our family.

"Our request is for Government to decrease the cost of fertiliser and other deductions like the cost of sugar, rice and other expenses so we can at least survive the days ahead."

With similar concerns, farmer Feroz Khan agrees with his elder brother and says all they can do is wait for better days.

"We will continue with the work on the cane farms and if things don't go our way, we will leave," he said.

Another farmer of Savusavutaga cane farm, Ram Nand said Government should give equal treatment to all farmers.

"We should be treated equally because we are all humanbeings and we all have feelings. If only one farmer is benefiting from Government's assistance than another one would feel bad and with this Government should treat us equally," he said.

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