Shortage of cane labourers and issue

SHORTAGE of cane labourers remains a challenge for many canefarmers in the North. Members of the National Farmers Union have made this known through their executives who have assisted them.

NFU president Surendra Lal said farmers who had the same group of labourers over the past years had managed to recruit the same groups.

“But the difficulty is finding new groups of labourers because most are committed to village development plans and functions,” he said.

“These farmers have travelled to villages in search of labourers, but they couldn’t get any labourers to the farms.

“The shortage of labourers is an issue we have faced over the years.”

However, some farmers, Mr Lal said, needed more time to set up proper camps for labourers.

“These are farmers who have labourers organised for this harvesting season, but they need more time to set up the camps.

“Once this is done then they will bring their labourers over to the farms for the harvesting season.

“But as of now, we are working with our members to secure labourers for them.”

This issue was also discussed early this year during the sugar consultation with farmers.

Labasa farmer Anirudh Sharma said farmers had also been burdened with demands from labourers including special meals.

This, he said, was difficult for farmers to provide.

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