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Cost of cane cutters could be regulated: Brown

January 6, 2020 4:45 pm
A major issue of cane farmers stealing cane cutting gangs from other farmers by offering them more money was highlighted by the Fiji Sugar Industry Tribunal Registrar Timothy Brown. [Source Flickr]

A major issue of cane farmers stealing cane cutting gangs from other farmers by offering them more money was highlighted in the farmer’s meeting.

Speaking during the sugarcane growers meeting in Ba, the Sugar Industry Tribunal Registrar Timothy Brown says they have received complaints from farmers that their cane cutting gangs are moving to other cane growers halfway through their job, as they are being offered a more lucrative deal.

“It’s come to a stage where they go out to hire people from the villages and you bring them at a certain rate like $20 a ton and another farmer who is quite rich then comes along and offers these guys quietly $25 a ton so off they go.”

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Brown says that this is not fair and has called on cane growers to report the matter to the tribunal office so that these cane cutting gangs are closed off.

According to Brown even if the agreement with the cane cutters is verbal, this should be honoured and the gang should complete their work with the original grower before deciding to leave.

He adds they are also looking at regulating the cost of cane cutters however they will need to look at other issues as well.

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