When Dreketi, Bua, farmers mainly specialising in rice, initially raised their issues with the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last Wednesday at the opening of the #Fiji Rice warehouse, they requested for another meeting with more farmers for in-depth discussions and which was held on Saturday.
At the Saturday meeting the Rice Farmers Association’s interim President, Yad Ram, said they were raising concerns because they are fully aware that the Government assists them a lot, be it provision of machinery or fertiliser subsidy.
“However, we just want to raise with you that rice farming will become too difficult without the assistance of the tractor and other machinery because we are wetland farmers,” he said.
“We as farmers have to really thank the Government for the help it has given to us farmers, never before in history were we given this level of assistance. It was just this major concern for us.”
The A-G assured them that he had heard their issues and will take it up with the line Minister Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy.
“However, there’s one thing I would like to raise- the need for you all to organise yourself, work smarter and to help each other because at the moment you appear to be working in different groupings,” he said.
“When I raise these issue with the Minister of Agriculture I can tell him that the farmers have organised themselves better and let’s see how we can help them further.”
The farmers told the A-G that they were happy to have someone hear them out and give feedback.