Small Scale Farmers Hail 2022/2023 Budget


Sugarcane farmers in the Western division have hailed the recent announcement of the national budget, highlighting that initiatives announced would as­sist them in many ways.

Vidend Kumar, 60, of Keolaiya Nadi, said that a lot of small scale sugarcane farmers have been struggling for quite a while, however, with the initiatives an­nounced recently some would find it easier now to live their daily lives.

“I would like to advice the farmers that if you are doing cane farming, you should also look at other types of farming, only then will you be able to survive in the farming sector. This will help us in many ways especially now with the initiatives available for farmers around the country.”

“Everybody knows that sugar cane farming is hard, however, we have good production this year. We should not only limit ourselves to planting cane but go beyond and farm new produce.”

Mr. Kumar highlighted that the new budget would lift the burden of small-scale cane farmers and other farmers.

Producing around 150 tonnes of cane every year, Uday Prasad of Keolaiya Nadi said that he had al­ready started to look at alternative farming and now with the initia­tives available for the new finan­cial year he was sure that it would benefit his family.

“The Government has helped us a lot before and the recent an­nouncement of $25 million for fertiliser subsidy is really good.”

“If the farmer is only relying on cane farming then they won’t have profit. Farmers should be able to do several types of farm­ing” he said.

Mr. Prasad shared that he has ventured into pineapple and paw­paw farming which has a great market in the tourism industry and that the future of cane farm­ing for small scale farmers was looking bleak.

“Looking at the new genera­tion a lot of them don’t want to do farming. Most of them get ed­ucated and get office jobs which makes me think that there is no future for cane farming, however, I think some have also realised that money is also in the land.”

Mr. Prasad also acknowledged the various agriculture initia­tives available for cane farmers which included the $7 million for the machinery outsourcing, the $1.5million for farm mechanisation and $600,000 for ginger farming.