2018 General Election: Farmer calls for review of food prices

Jone Soqo at his farm in Viria, Naitasiri. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

A FARMER of Viria, Naitasiri, believe his children would not have attended school if the FijiFirst party had not introduced the free tuition and bus fare scheme.

Jone Soqo, 48, looks after his six children through the money he earns from farming and selling farm produce at the Nausori market.

He earns at least $200 a week from this which is then divided into buying food for his family and clothes for his children — and other necessities needed at home.

“I think this Government is helping us a lot in terms of free education and free bus fare, but I think it’s only the food prices that need to go down,” Mr Soqo said.

“The food nowadays is very expensive.

“If the price of food can be reduced, that will be very good especially for people like us.”

Waisale Tokalima, 47, also a farmer, said there was a need for Government to review the food prices.

Mr Tokalima is a labourer at a farm in Naqali.

They plant dalo and ginger. He earns $150 a week from working on the farm.

“Another problem that needs to be addressed here is the issue of flooding and the cost of transportation as well,” Mr Tokalima said.

“I earn $150 a week which I use to buy our food, pay for our electricity and other things needed at home.

“The food prices are still expensive. It does not match our income in one week.”

Both farmers said when they go to cast their vote on November 14, they would choose a party that would help farmers and improve infrastructure such as roads.

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