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Rice industry faces shortage of labour

March 11, 2021 5:48 am

There is a shortage of labour in the rice industry.

Fiji Rice Limited Board Chair, Raj Sharma says this is one of the major challenges the company is facing.

Sharma told FBC News, despite people being unemployed due to COVID-19, there is hardly any labourers available.

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The issue was one of the main topics of discussion during the company’s Annual General Meeting in Labasa over the weekend.

Deputy Chair Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, says the lack of interest is owed to the change in time and the rural to urban drift.

“Back in the early 80s and 90’s rice was a boom here. Now, the children of the farmers have opted to venture out into the urban areas to look for work because staying in the farm and rural communities – that’s a challenge we face. The changing of time, kids gone to university and don’t want to come back to do farming.”

Tui Macuata adds that once the rice industry is revived, it will be similar to the sugar industry.

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