Cane labourers hope mill begins crushing soon

Manaini Rokovusei (left) during breakfast with her family at their home in Drasa Dam Rd, Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Cane labourers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis are hoping the Lautoka sugar mill begins crushing soon.

Manaini Rokovusei said her family moved from Naitasiri to Lautoka a few years ago because of the work opportunities provided during the cane harvest and crushing season.

She said her husband loved cutting cane, but the decision to push back the start of the crush at the Lautoka mill was impacting their ability to meet basic needs.

“The crushing season is something we look forward to every year because it provides us what we need,” Ms Rokovusei said.

“We have six children and they have needs that also we have to meet and this is the time we look forward to fulfilling those needs.

“The crushing season is a joyful time for us because we are able to buy necessities as this is the time we get some good money.”

Ms Rokovusei said part of their task was to help farmers in the hunt for cutters to assist in harvesting.

She said in recent times, this has proved to be a hurdle because cutters were hard to find, especially when the borders were closed.

She also said they would come with sometimes unrealistic demands, but they hoped to rope in some good ones to assist them in this season.

“I help with my eldest daughters sometimes in harvesting.

“We are looking forward and we can’t wait to be out on the field again when crushing begins.”

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