It's been reported that times are so tough in the babasiga area around Labasa town that farmers have to sell some of their farming equipment to put food on the table. Sugar-cane brings little money and Fiji people even have to buy overseas sugar in the shops!
From Fiji Sun
Farmers sell machinery, stock
writer : CAROLINE RATUCADRA
Desperate for cash, a group of sugarcane farmers in the Northern Division have started selling farm machinery and livestock including fertiliser from their farms. The farm gate sales include bulk fertiliser, surplus farm machinery and spare parts and even working bullocks and cattle. According to these farmers, they have no choice but to look for cash in order to provide for their already-poor families.
National Farmers Union president Surendra Lal said the farmers were looking at alternative measures because they are desperate for cash.
Confirmed reported cases involved farmers from the sectors of Daku, Wainikoro, Waiqele and Buceisau.
“We cannot do much as farmers have suffered a major loss in the last two cane payments. They’re desperate to provide for their families and they will do anything. This is the truth where farmers have had to start, selling from their farms livestock, machinery and fertiliser,” Mr Lal said. He said working bullocks were up for sale to around $2000 and other farming equipment price ranges according to its durability.
Fiji Cane Growers Association chief executive Mohammed Rafiq shared similar sentiments saying that times are hard now especially with the increased cost of living. Mr Rafiq said his office had received reports of farmers selling their farming tools because they needed money. “Livestock are up for sale apart from machinery and this is the reality. Farmers have to earn their living and they will have to sell whatever they’ve got to provide for their families,” Mr Rafiq said.