Shortage of manual laborers a concern for cane farmers
February 14, 2019 4:51 pm
Manual labour continues to be a problem for some sugarcane farmers in the Western Division since last year’s crushing season.
Nadi cane farmer Anil Singh says with this being an issue, some cane farmers are now being proactive and are looking at getting a mechanical harvester.
Singh says they have formed a Cooperative in Nadi to purchase a harvester before the new crushing season begins.
“This year we have already formed a Sabeto/Lomolomo Cooperative which has around 25 cane farmers and we are trying to purchase a mechanical harvester.”
Another cane farmer Vijendra Prasad says it’s also expensive to look after laborers as they have to provide food and shelter.
However, Prasad says farmers who cannot afford the mechanical harvester will have to settle with looking for laborers.
He adds this is also a problem because of the lack of interest shown by people towards sugarcane farming.
Meanwhile, the FSC will soon announce the dates for the new crushing season.