Addressing labour issues

THE use of Fiji Corrections Service inmates to harvest sugar cane should be focused in hilly terrain where mechanical harvesters are not able to be used.

This is the view of Lautoka Cane Producers Association president Parbindar Singh.

“We believe this would be the most effective use of inmates,” he said.

“Over the past few years, since the inception of the program, inmates have been used in a lot of flatland areas where mechanical harvesters could be utilised.

“Because only 40 per cent of all harvestable cane is located in flatland area and 60 per cent in hilly terrain, there needs to be more focus on addressing labour issues faced by growers in those areas.”

Mr Singh added that the regulated $17.50 per tonne rate for mechanical harvesters should also be applied to inmates cutting cane.

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