Ram Sami and Sons (Fiji) Ltd says it is willing to work with the Wainadoi community and listen to their grievances and concerns.
Group human resource manager Rohit Prabhakar Chetty said they called for a consultation to discuss how their manure production process was affecting the residents health and lifestyle but no one turned up.
“We had written to the concerned members of the community so that the Ram Sami team could meet them and listen to their grievances,” he said.
“We had held a recent meeting at our venue in Wainadoi on January 27, 2023. Our team was there at 2pm but nobody showed up.
“We do care about the community and we are willing to work with them. We need to have this meeting so we can iron things out.”
He said the company was currently liaising with the Wainadoi district advisory counselor for a scheduled meeting next week.
“We are processing our poultry manure in accordance with the given conditions and guidelines, however, we will listen to concerns raised and how best we can assist our community.
“The company invested up to $3.1 million in the construction and commissioning of the manure process plant.
“It took them a few years to build the plant and construction was delayed due to COVID-19, however, through the hard work of the Ram Sami team, it was completed late last year and it is the first of its kind in the Pacific.”
Mr Chetty said the processing of wet poultry manure would take up to eight hours a day depending on the processing plan.
“This plant has created employment for an additional 15 people. I understand that the community is saying that we are burning chicken waste, but we are not burning anything.
“In fact the wet poultry manure goes through a heat treatment processing where moisture is absorbed before it is packed ready for selling.
“This process is 100 per cent organic and has been certified. The manure is ideal for horticultural; crops, roots, tubers, trees and fruit crops – it supports the organic farming systems in Fiji.
“The product is then distributed to the local markets and there are plans on exporting in the near future.”
He said smoke discharged through the processing of wet poultry manure has been tested.
“There was an air quality test which was conducted in accordance with the testing requirements from the Department of Environment (DOE) and all test results where within the parametres and that was submitted to them.
“An environment impact assessment (EIA) was carried out in accordance with regulatory requirements for the processing plant and a full due diligence process was followed and our EIA was approved with conditions and guidelines to be met and then this plant was constructed and now it’s operational.”
Mr Chetty added that during the EIA consultation process the public invitation was given through the media, however, response from the community was very poor.
“Now that we have done this capital investment, concerns and grievances are being raised, however, we — as a responsible organisation — will work with the community on how best we can assist them.”