Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cane farmers in Fiji upset over low payments says union leader

Radio New Zealand International  - 31 March 2010

A political and union leader in Fiji says cane farmers are angry their latest payment is less than half what they were expecting.

The leader of the Fiji Labour Party and general secretary of National Farmers Union, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the payment of two US dollars and 61 cents per tonne, is far below the six dollars and 22 cents that was expected.

Mr Chaudhry says the poor performance is a result of frequent breakdowns at the mills, which led to wasted cane, with much of the juice not being converted into sugar.

He says it’s the first time the Fiji Sugar Corporation has failed to make its forecast payment, and they are considering seeking compensation for farmers.

“The possibility is being looked at at the moment, but the industry institutions on which farmers had a voice they have all been disbanded by the interim regime. So farmers actually are without a voice at the moment in the industry, which again is a matter of concern because technically they have a 70 percent stake in the industry.”

Mahendra Chaudhry says the 180 million dollars in aid from the European Union, which the industry lost through ongoing sanctions, would have been a godsend for sugar farmers.

Comment on

Why cry over spilt milk were part of the problem, if not the biggest problem that faces the sugar Industry. You knew the troubles; but you choose to play politics instead of looking after the farmers interests.

You supported the Dictator to coup the Qarase government, but opt out when your dirty plan did not work out. What are you going to do back to Bai...or wait the never, never election of 2014?

It might be better to live in India then Fiji, if Bainimarama continues to steer the ship of state towards China. The Indian businesses will be in much competition and troubles, as the Fijian lands.

I know that it's difficult for our Indian Fijians to realize that the war against tyrany is not the Fijians alone. Now is the time to join your Fijian brothers to find a solution to our problems, or we will all be bought before we know it!

Bainimarama do't have you in his focus; he has the Chinese, whose promise of athonol,wealth and help rings "Ching tauwa, tauwa" in his ears.

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