Dishonest canecutters a worry

DISHONEST canecutters became an added burden for canefarmers this crushing season, apart from the shortage of labourers, says National Farmers Union president Surendra Lal.

Many farmers, he said, had faced this situation over the past years in which cutters received advance payments but failed to return to the farms.

“This has happened in almost every harvesting season and this year, our members have complained about this same issue and locating the labourers is even more difficult,” he said.

“So the farmers lose out and are discouraged from hiring labourers. These farmers can pay about $500 in advance but the cutters take the money and don’t return. Even though they sign an agreement, the cutters don’t honour it so it’s a dilemma for many farmers.”

Such a situation, he said, had contributed to the standover cane.

“Farmers in Wainikoro and Daku still have standover cane that has not been harvested and we do hope that something is done to compensate these farmers.”

On engaging the provincial offices for the possibility of hiring more labourers, Mr Lal said it had not worked.

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