FIJI CANE FARMERS LOSING HOPE

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Many wait in vane for necessary supplies

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, March 24, 2009) – A cane farmer is losing hope in the very industry has relied on for the past 30 years to meet his family’s needs.

Mukesh Varma of Korovuto is still waiting for his fertiliser supply which he ordered three months ago.

He placed his order with the authorities looking after the Malolo sector in Nadi. He said he is not the only one affected as most farmers in the area were still waiting for their supplies.

"For the first time this is happening and we are wondering why it happens especially in times when we need support to feed our families and resurrect the ailing sugar industry," said Mr. Varma.

The 45-year-old father of two said for the first time, he felt his children’s future looked bleak if he continued to rely on his 10 hectares sugar cane farm.

"This is my only source of income and I’m worried about what the future holds for my children"

Varma also plants supplement crops for his family but it was sugarcane that ran the family financially.

He said he harvested 160 tonnes last year but he doubts he would reach half of the mark this year.

"Every farmer knows fertilizer has to be applied three weeks after planting but most are still waiting after three months."

FijiSUN: http://www.sun.com.fj/

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