Farmers want changes to payment system

Cane farmer Jahur Khan speaking at the National Sugar Policy consultation at Mulomulo Secondary School in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

SUGARCANE farmers in Nadi have reiterated requests by growers in other districts — they want changes made to the cane payment system.

During the National Sugar Industry Policy consultation in Mulomulo last week, Nadi canefarmer Tiger Narayan said the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) needed to open accounts for farmers and deposit money on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

He said this would ensure farmers had money on hand instead of waiting for payments every three months.

FSC chief operating officer Navin Chandra said this was an issue raised in many forums.

“One of the things I’ve been saying is if we increase our yield and all those, this means more money will be travelling around,” he said.

He said breaking the payment, either into two, three or four instalments did not mean an increase in the amount of money earned.

Mr Chandra said if one earned $10 and the money was cut five times or 10 times, it would remain $10.

“He said income could be increased through land and gap filling.

“We need a consensus as well.

“One farmer says give me 85 per cent at the start of the year, one says give it in 10 instalments.

“We’re not closing this, we’ll take those ideas and have another discussion on how to address this.”

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