Saltwater intrusion, faulty floodgate

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Cane farmers in Vunika during the consultation. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Drainage issues, problematic floodgates and saltwater intrusion were issues raised by cane farmers during the Lands Taskforce consultation in Macuata.

Farmers informed the Lands Taskforce Committee that for almost two decades, such problems have existed.

Kansami Naicker, a farmer of Vunika in Labasa said most nearby farms in the area have been deserted because of saltwater intrusion. He said the floodgates have been a real problem as it has not been able to stop seawater from flowing into the cane farms.

Brij Lal echoed similar sentiments saying saltwater has damaged cane crops in a large area of Vunika forcing farmers to relocate elsewhere. Other farmers complained about the services of other government ministries responsible for floodgates.

Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary for Special Projects Vinesh Kumar told the farmers their concerns would certainly be dealt with.

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