QARASE WARNS FARMERS NOT TO JOIN IN BOYCOTT

SUVA, Fiji (Radio Fiji, Jan. 8) - Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has warned farmers not to listen to Mahendra Chaudhry, the general secretary of the National Farmers Union, NFU.

The Prime Minister was reacting to threats of a harvest boycott by Chaudhry and other union officials.

Qarase says farmers should know better of the consequences if they boycott harvesting.

The Sugar Minister believes that farmers have now known the problems that will come if they follow Chaudhry’s calls for a boycott in protest against the restructure program.

Qarase says if farmers follow the decision by NFU to boycott harvesting because by doing so, they are stopping the money that they should be getting.

He is pleading to Chaudhry and NFU officials to review their decision and support the government in salvaging the Sugar Industry.

The Prime Minister says suspending the restructure for another year would cause more financial losses for the Fiji Sugar Corporation.

The National Farmers Union says the restructure is not helping farmers at all.

January 8, 2003

Radio Fiji, www.radiofiji.org

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