Farmer loses hope in cattle farming

Waimaro dairy farmer Raja Rattan Sami looks at the remains of his milking shed which he has shut down. Picture: RAMA

‘Khalas’. (Finished)

These were the sentiments echoed by 66-year-old Ratan Sami, a cattle farmer in Waimaro, Tailevu.

Mr Sami said he loved being a cattle farmer, but because of the increase in bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, he has turned to other means of subsistence farming.

“I started with 200 cattle in 1970 after my father died and now we are left with nothing,” he said.

Mr Sami said his last set of cattle was taken to the abattoir in May last year. When this newspaper visited his residence on Tuesday, not a single milking cow was seen in his milking parlour.

“Dairy is a big problem to us now. After every three months they come and they do this (inject) to our cattle. When subjected to TB they are taken away for slaughtering and there is no replacement.”

He claimed he used to produce 15,000 to 16,000 litres of milk per day.

“I have to now find other means to earn an income as breeding cattle has brought nothing. There has been nothing done to solve this TB issue,” he said.

“Next year, I am thinking of transitioning to dalo and sheep farming,” he said.

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