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Farmers want payment for following bad advice of officials

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 6, 2011) - The Fiji Sugar Corporation says there are no plans to compensate growers for their unharvested crop.

This was confirmed yesterday by FSC spokesman Samu Railoa.

Earlier the National Farmers Union had stated it would seek compensation to help make up for the farmers' loss as a result of standover cane.

However, Mr Railoa said: "There are no plans to compensate growers for their unharvested crop as the crop will still be available for crushing in the 2011 season".

Union president Surendra Lal said the growers needed to be compensated to pay for land rent and fertiliser.

"FSC's refusal to compensate the growers is disheartening," he said.

"The FSC is insensitive towards the plight of the growers because they are not taking the monetary part of it.

"We, the growers, are on the losing side because all unharvested cane will be lost."

Mr Lal added that harvesting has stopped and that the quality of cane would also deteriorate.

"The growers were seeking compensation because many of them had burnt cane in fields for crushing following advice by FSC officials.

"Now the burnt cane will have no value."

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