Dairy farms hit

LIVESTOCK farmers in Nadelei, Tavua, were not spared by Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni.

The farmers, who survive on the sale of dairy, lost animals to the Category 3 storm.

One of the largest dairy farmers in Tavua, Hirdesh Nand, said he lost three animals.

“We have about four farmers who lost their animals,” he said.

“Most of the animals were calves and cows. For any dairy farms, losing a cow can affect their supply.”

He said supplying milk daily to their buyers would be affected for a few days.

“First of all our road condition is a big problem especially when it rains. We had some landslides but that has been cleared.

“But some crossings are still affected.”

He said farmers would have to fully recover before milk supply improved.

He added that government assistance would be needed by farmers to ensure full recovery.

The assistance by Government is expected to come in the form of the cyclone assistance relief effort.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama confirmed assistance would also be provided to livestock farmers under the farms care program.

“Through the Ministry of Agriculture, we will be providing new seedlings and dry seeds, along with dalo tops and root crop suckers, for free to all farmers affected by these cyclones,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“The ministry will also be clearing debris on all of our affected farmers’ property, helping to replace damaged fencing, and providing assistance for lost weedicide and fertiliser.

“Depending on their land’s preparedness for their replacement planting, farmers can expect to see the benefits of my government’s replanting assistance as soon as it is both possible and appropriate.

“For those farmers replacing some of Fiji’s heartier, ready-to-plant crops like dalo, cassava and kumala, that will be as soon as the assessments are completed.”

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