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Yaqona farmers receive assistance

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, January 29, 2018

GOVERNMENT has set up taskforce teams to combat yaqona theft in Cakaudrove Province.

In its efforts to combat the crime, Government has also banned the sale of green yaqona in hot spot areas of the province.

The taskforce teams based in Savusavu and Taveuni will work with farmers in protecting their farms.

Provincial administrator Cakaudrove Kaliova Rabuka said they were working with respective government ministries to stop the sale of green yaqona.

"We have stopped issuing licences to companies that were buying green and young yaqona plants as part of our efforts," he said.

"It has been done on Taveuni and now we are enforcing it in Savusavu and Buca Bay areas in which farmers are not allowed to sell green yaqona plants.

"All yaqona plants are to be dried and sold by farmers to the buyers."

Mr Rabuka said taskforce teams that were set up last year had achieved positive results.

"We have strategies to work with and we also work closely with the communities and farmers who are represented in these taskforce teams," he said.

"It's a matter of all stakeholders working together as one and farmers can only sell dried yaqona plants.

"The collaborative effort by members of these taskforce teams have proved successful and having police as part of this taskforce has strengthened our work."

Mr Rabuka heads the taskforce team in Savusavu.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro has also confirmed reports of yaqona theft in the province.

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