Cane Farmers demand General Elections in 2009 – aaree wah!!!

Bloggers, in todays Fiji Sun, an article quoted sugar cane growers representatives pleading with the interim government to have General Elections in 2009. For the first time in a long time NFU and the Fiji Cane Growers Association are in agreement on something.

What SV is wondering is why the deafening silence from that forked tongue snake and  NFU General Secretary, Mahend Chaudary. He knew that there will be no election in 2009 so quickly got out so he can go and paint a different picture to those gullible sugarcane farmers.

The majority of those cane farmers themselves supported the 2006 coup and he as their representative happily joined as a cabinet minister to be a savior of the economy and pump money to the farmers.

If in the next election the FLP again gets a landslide result from the Sugarcane Belt, then the farmers basically deserve all the lies and false claims the FLP has been giving them since 1987.

from todays Fiji Sun

Sugar industry stakeholders have pleaded with the interim Government to hold elections next year for the sake of the ailing industry.
The pleas come after the European Union announced that it doubted the interim regime would meet its conditions for the resumption of its aid to the industry.The four-member delegation was from the European Parliament’s Committee on Development and were on a fact-finding mission.

Head of the delegation German European parliamentarian Gabriele Zimmer said their support for next year’s sugar crop was doubtful.

The 2009 Budget announcement supplement stated the sugar industry faced a lot of challenges since the December 2006 military coup.

This is after the EU withheld its aid package of $132 million for the 2008-2010 Multi-Annual Indicative Programme until progress on a number of commitments was achieved by the interim government, specifically the holding of elections in March, next year.

The programme focuses mainly on the improvement of on-farm cultivation, developing rural infrastructure and supporting agricultural diversification.

Fiji Cane Growers Association chief executive officer Mohammed Rafiq pleaded with the interim government to show some commitment to having elections sometime next year. He said the suspension of sugar industry development aid for another year could mean its collapse.

“If aid is suspended for another year it would be a big blow to farmers. We feel sorry for them as the industry could collapse if they suspend aid for a year,” said Mr Rafiq.

He called on the regime to do something positive for the sake of the farmers.

He said the whole country could be expected to suffer with the suspension, and highlighted that the northern division, which heavily relies on revenue from sugar, would be the hardest hit.

National Farmers Union president Sanjeet Maharaj pleaded with the State to show some commitment that would convince the EU in providing its sugar subsidies.

“The interim Government should hurry up and have elections as EU aid depends on this,” he said.

“They should show commitment by holding elections, if not by March next year then at the end of 2009.”

He agreed with Mr Rafiq that the sugar industry would not develop any further with the absence of such an aid.

“Unless the help is given (by EU) cane production will drop as this aid was meant for the planting of sugar cane and other development plans for the sugar industry,” he said.

In the 2009 budget the Sugar Industry Support Programme gets $5 million, an allocation which has drawn a lot of criticisms from sugar bodies.

FCGA general secretary Bala Dass said the allocation was “like pittance”.

He said the interim regime should just conduct the elections and put a stop to the suffering of cane farmers as a result of the suspension of aid for the development of their crop.

Sugar Commission of Fiji chairman John May said they met with the delegation on Saturday and briefed them on the challenges faced by the industry.

They were also briefed on the likely effect of the suspension of funds for sugar development.

He said the delegation was fully aware of the repercussions of the suspension on the further development of the ailing sugar industry.

At the moment they would go ahead with their programmes for cane development which included mills upgrade, cane development through available means, and a review of the industry’s transporting and carting system. They would also have to re-look at their marketing strategy.

However, Mr May said they would not comment on the conditions set by the EU or the interim Government.

“We can’t comment on that as the issue is between Government and EU as the aid package depends on any development between them,” he said.

Attempts to get a comment from former interim Finance and Sugar minister Mahendra Chaudhry were unsuccessful.

Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive officer Deo Saran couldn’t be reached for comments too on the matter.

23 Responses to “Cane Farmers demand General Elections in 2009 – aaree wah!!!”

  1. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Na boci ga, na boci.

  2. Tuks Says:

    Deceptive Chaudhry is again playing his games. Valoloma ga o Vore ..It is 100% certainty that Chaudhry himself being the Secretary NFU is fully manipulating developments behind these farmers statements. Who knows, it might be even from his own desk!!.. Never believe the greatest liar in Fiji..Thats what Chaudhry truly is. He is playing his dirty and two prone approach political games bracing himself for the worst case scenario././

  3. Tuks Says:

    Oops wrong speling —– “prone” above must be “pronged”…

  4. Keep The Faith Says:

    This ISH and Grade A fcukery is killing me.

    Ma’chaud is shooting from their shoulders. FLP recently won all the local govt elections where the sugar power-bases are. They only want elections in order to bring him back in.

    Note to EU: Keep your $$ and kill the sugar industry then focus your energies on booting China & their ethanol/other commercial ventures out while you’re at it.

    Oh and y’all can continue to keep your SATS firmly focussed on them — you know who y’all are😉

  5. Nostradamus Says:

    The two prone is the position of Samy and Voreqe, reaming and rimming him from the back and front.

  6. Dauvavana Says:

    wasn’t it maichod’s promise to the vore that he will use his influence to convince the EU to release the funds if the vore went ahead with the coup and he (maichod) being in cabinet would basically ensure the EU support and recognise Vore’s illegal interim government?

    and wasn’t this the promise maichod also made to the cane farmers?

    teri nani chod as my old pal Natewa Prince used to say!!!

    maybe maichod should just go join that mailife or maitv thingy😉

  7. Budhau Says:

    Naa, nai sake – how come the farmers are calling for an election – those Indians, they all supported the coup.

    If this is about the loss of that $132 million that was supposed to come our way – I suggest they immediately get on the phone with China and get alternate funding – and how about another request for some soft loans from India.

    The evil man Chaudary – he has the country by the balls…so what do you think happens if he wins the next election – do we have to do another coup.

    Na boci ga, na boci.

    BTW – Keep the Faith – those farmers, they don’t vote in the local government elections – ask the Bala dude from Ba.

  8. soro Says:

    I see the curry bush lawyer is busy cutting and pasting like it can speak Fijian … puhlease …… it sticks out like a sore thumb. Tis a creature full of waffle … as I said b4 it must have small mans disease cos it’s always jumping up and down for attention, always wanting to have the last work and always sounding like a smart arse.

    Quite vorenkly, we are sick of it.

    Next !~

  9. Budhau Says:

    Hey Soro, for a dumbass that you are – how come you were trying to impress folks in here the other day by telling us that your went to USP wit Alefina and Eroni Vuki.

    That above piece don’t look like no USP job – unless your were one of those with connections who got the FAB scholarship.

    Na boci ga, na boci.

    BTW – you know what Eroni is doing these days.

  10. newsfiji Says:

    I hear whispers in the wind folks – it is nearly time – YIPPEEEEEEEE!

  11. Fiji Democracy Now Says:

    Finally, cane farmers are starting to get worked up and are agitating for early elections.

    And they have every right to be angry. As an industry they have suffered more than anyone would have thought possible over just two years of military dictatorship.

    And the visit earlier this week of the European Union delegation was a reminder to anyone with a stake in sugar that no election equals no ED sugar package.

    On top of that, in glaring contrast to the huge healing powers of the $130-million plus waiting in the ED package, the dictator’s 2009 Budget allocated only $5 million to the Sugar Industry Support Programme, or one third of the additonal allocation the same Budget gave to the RFMF.

    What does that tell you? It tells us that once again the dictator has demonstrated that when the he’s faced with a choice between the betterment of Fiji and advancing his own interests, he will always opt for the latter.

    And opting to advance his own interests means staying in power for as long as possible, because it’s the only way the dictator knows to avoid paying the inevitable price for his crimes.

    So forget about elections and forget about the magic bullet the sugar industry so badly needs.

    One man who understands this all too well is Mahendra Chaudhry, aka the Chodopu$$, who is desperately trying to put a positive spin on military expenditure because he knows the growing discontent on the part of farmers threatens to descimate his raditonal constituency.

    We at FDN were flabbergasted by the rubbish Chodopu$$ spewed out on TV the night before last when he tried to get us to believe that the RFMF needed all the millions of additonal funds for capital expenditure.

    Apart from piling on the spin to save his political hide, we suspect his other motive was to cover up the truth as to where sizeable slabs the money actually went.

    We think it went into one or more pockets, starting with the dictator.

    It stands to reason because the overspends were kept secret for so long and all the while there were huge amounts involved for which no accounting whatsoever has been provided.

    With so many unaccounted millions sloshing around the RFMF there was nothing to prevent the dictator from helping himself to some easy cash, just as Chodopu$$ helped him to help himself to his totally illegal “back pay” bonanza.

    Bloggers, the strong stench of greed and corruption hangs over the dictator and his cronies like a poisonous cloud.

    As they say in police circles, when it comes to illegally lining their pockets with illicit dollars, both Frank Bainimarama and the millionaire Chodopu$$ already have “form”.

  12. Dauvavana Says:

    anybody seen todays Fiji Times headlines.

    one of it reads “Chaudary pleads for funds”

    now if the cane growers still support him then they deserve all they are about to get. Us at the village, we’re used to subsistence living but you kaidia cane farmer’s it’s “welcome to poverty” and remember “no lease money means get off our land”

    but then you brought it upon yourself through years of believing in chaudary’s bullshit since 1987 which led to countless harvest boycott which almost bled the FSC and sugar industry dead, through voting for chaudary and the FLP in block in the last three elections with bullshit lease renewals and finally supporting him and Vore in the 2006 coup.

    we warned you guys that supporting a coup (which your Lord Chaudary schemed with Vore, hey Jokapeci was mentioning coup 18 months before it happened) would lead to witholding of EU funds to save your lives but such was your group contempt, veibeci and hatred of Taukei’s that you jointly said “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”, as proven by you bloke votings on the 1999, 2001 and 2006 elections.

    incase you canebelt people are so group block headed, let me explain to you a simple fact. A few days ago, yes, just a few days, Chaudary was againg defending the hundreds of millions the military vrtually pilferred from the treasury while he was Minister for finance, the so called robin hood. He could have instead diverted those hundreds of millions towards the sugar industry. Nahi!!! You guys are his thousands of chum cha lap dogs and are just sooooo expandable!!!

    and now he is crying and pleading to government, who seems to have outsmarted him this time.

    well sugarcane belt people, you are on that bridge now and it is burning very quickly. To mend it, simply kick that FLP out into oblivion and get on with the reality of living!!!

    Chaudary had the opportunity to save you but instead he tried to save himself first and as usual played politics with you livelihood again while riding on a tiger.

    The million dollar question is, are you going to continue on being his canon fodder?? When we will he finally deliver on his promises of the last twenty one years???

  13. Mark Manning Says:

    The yellow ribbon program being run by the prisons commissioner , seems the only constructive thing going on in Fiji these days , at least they are getting positive results .
    I see Chaudhry is still living in denial ! Having created the debacle with the E.U. and the withdrawal of funding for the sugar industry by joining the Regime , he thinks that his withdrawal from the regime automatically extracts him for the blame !
    What an arrogant bastard !
    Good to see the chiefs taking hold of the reins again and forcing that idiot Frank to apologise . Evil succeeds when good men do nothing , well the chiefs , or at least some of them , appear to have vindicated themselves on this occasion , at last .
    Interesting to see the Chinese still going ahead with building a bridge for which an elected government won’t be financially accountable !
    And I see Sha-mimi is still delusional as to her level of importance .
    I’m actually sensing , hearing and feeling the walls stating to tumble all around Frank and Co . and it’s a good sensation .

    Hang on to your testicles , there’s more to come !

  14. soro Says:

    Ia ia kajia ! Wananavu @ Dauvavana !!! Hear hear.

  15. Corruption Fighter Says:

    @FDN

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Here’s a few facts to ponder Sugar production in 2006 was 310,140 tonnes. In 2007, it was 237,418 tonnes, at that point the lowest production ever. Now in 2008 the estimate is for 220,000 tonnes, a new record low.

    This is the result of Mahendra Chaudhry putting all his people in charge of the industry. As Finance Minister Chaudhry wrecked the economy. As Minister for the Sugar Industry he oversaw the two worst harvests in history.

    It can only be a matter of time before all but his most die hard acolytes (Budhau are you there?) can see that Chaudhry has been a disaster – devious and cunning, yes, but definitely incompetent. He always thought he was so much smarter than Qarase but the facts speak for themselves. Qarase lifted our economy out of the wreckage of the 2000 disaster and he started trying to get sugar out of the problems it faced, with nothing but opposition from Chaudhry.

  16. soro Says:

    Agree @ FDN and CF …… Cane farmers are right to have that sinking feeling but didnt they make the choice to sit under the ozone hole a bit too long in trusting Maichod ?

    Maichod definitely has bubbles in his think tank and has been caught out . For all intents and purposes he looks like he has both oars in the water, but look closer – they are on the same side of the boat.

    So the question is what do they do if they really value their livelihood ? Only they can answer that … they need to help themselves – think on their own feet instead of blindly following coup suppoters. As strange as it may seem I cant help thinking they are actually the cause of their own demise.

  17. Mark Manning Says:

    I agree soro
    now is a good time for the landowners to re-negotiate their leases to the landowners advantage !

  18. The Economy » Blog Archive » Oops, We Meant $7 Trillion « Phil’S Favorites Says:

    […] Cane Farmers demand General Elections in 2009 – aaree wah … […]

  19. sULIASI dAUNITUTU Says:

    2009 We are expecting an election, if there isn’t one then we are goig to war with the soldiers. WAR I mean bloodshed. We have had enough of this crap All you have to do if you support me tie or pin a red ribbon to a tree lampost bridge or whereever and wait for the timings for when we deliever.

  20. Budhau Says:

    Corruption Fighter – come on guy – are you really a dumbass of you just trying to push that anti-Chaudary propaganda in here.

    This is what you wrote – “Here’s a few facts to ponder Sugar production in 2006 was 310,140 tonnes. In 2007, it was 237,418 tonnes, at that point the lowest production ever. Now in 2008 the estimate is for 220,000 tonnes, a new record low.

    This is the result of Mahendra Chaudhry putting all his people in charge of the industry. As Finance Minister Chaudhry wrecked the economy. As Minister for the Sugar Industry he oversaw the two worst harvests in history.”

    Sugar Production:
    2005 – 315,000 tonnes.
    2006 – 310,000 tonnes
    2007 – 237,000 tonnes.

    The above numbers reflect Qarase’s screw ups. Compare that with an average 430,000 tonnes before they stopped renewing the leases.

    Therefore it is rather silly of you to blame this on Chaudary, who had been a minister for a while immediately after a coup – what did you expect? Even if Chaudary had put 100,000 ha in cane while he was the minister, it would still take 18 months or more before we see any results.

    BTW..one thing is for sure…those Indian tenants whose leases were not renewed after the FLP victory in 2000 and under the Qarase regime afterwards, they sure ain’t coming back to cane farming even if they are willing to renew the leases now – that is the problem.

    So my advice to you guys – if you still want to do sugar cane farming, start getting on the jog training… the Indians have exited the industry as the leases expired, and that is the reason for the declining production.

  21. Cava Says:

    The decline in sugar production can only be attributed to one person and that is your buddy Mahen Chodory.
    If you remember correctly when the FLP won power in 1999 Mahen made himself The Prime Minister;Minister of Finance;Minister for Sugar; Minister for Foreign Affairs etc,.
    His main thing were, to remove all the top people in the Sugar Industry and put Indo in, as their replacements.
    He did this in other Government Departments as well, which were directly under his other ministries.
    For the first 6 months of his rule,Chaudray was busy acting like a spoiled child by removing top Fijian, Kai-Valagi or Kai-Loma CEO with Kai-Idia.
    He did exactly the same thing, when he offered his services, to Bainimara to join the IG Coup Administration.
    So don’t blame anybody for this shyte for we know who was directly responsible for its current performance?

  22. Corruption Fighter Says:

    @ Budhau
    Thanks for repeating the cane statistics, which speak for themselves.

    You blame the non-renewal of leases entirely. That’s funny because cane farmers have a lot of other complaints you don’t mention – fertilizer shortage, transport difficulties, mills breakdowns, the list goes on. And the next problem is price falls that have to be taken without EU aid.

    But on the problem of leases, it’s obvious to anyone that can do that sums that landowners get very little out of leasing their land. Prof Davies has shown that landowners share of cane revenue is too small. We all know that some farmers make payments and give help as well as rent. Farmers and landowners like this because they get around the NLTB and chiefs taking their cut. So do you think that the farmers whose leases are renewed might be ones that have a good relationship with the landowners and give a bit more than the official rent?

    Work it out for yourself.

  23. Budhau Says:

    Corruption dude, those other complaints that the farmers have – they have always been there – before 1999/2000 and post 2000. However, we had reached the peak production in 1999 or around that time.

    The make reason for the decline is the non-renewal of leases that started in 1997 and and got really bad after the FLP won the election in 2000.

    That Davies dude seem to be the patron saint of land issues…that guy and his devoted follower that former peace corp guy have been pushing a lot of horse shit in our community.

    Most of the NLTB rent comes from cane land, specially out in the west -and most of those landowners do not have have nay major problems – of course everyone wants money, but nothing that cannot be negotiated and settled. It is was the Chaudhary election which really got politics into the land issue – and that is why we are in this mess.
    The reason for the renewal of the leases no is that the chiefs who get a cut of the lease money cannot hold out anymore they need the money. The landowners many of them couldn’t care less, their share of the rent money is so little that they would rather use the land themselves – it is the guys higher up who are hurting.

    Here is problem number one, how the land is valued. What they do in Fiji is they use freehold land a comparable. The price of freehold land in Fiji is artificially high because of scarcity and demand. They should find are more fair way of determining the value of land. Percentage does not matter. If for example, the value of land is much lower, as compared to the freehold land, then the percentage paid out to the landowner could be higher. So people looking in form the outside would say that now the land owner is getting a fair share – because the percentage of the land value paid out in rent is higher.

    Secondly – there are only a few categories of land agricultural native land – therefore if you have the same class of land jsut outside the Ba town and in Seqaqa – the rent is the same. The Ba farmer has rail lines to ship his cane to the nearby mill, the Seqaqa farmer has to haul his cane at his own cost for miles to the mill.
    These are simple issues – that both side can agree to hire experts who can figure out what a fair solution is.

    As for the rent – the freehold land in Fiji has gone down in price I would say about 25%. With no EU price support, the price of sugar is going down – you combine all that, and guess what will happen to the rent. Who is going to tell that landowners that rent shosuld be going down.

    Anither of the myths related to cane land is that the farmers benefitted from the EU price support and the landowner did not. As the price of sugar went up, the price of freehold land went up. Since the Native land values are appriased every five years, we have seen this reflected in the land values. Since the rent is a percentage of the land values, the landowners have shared into the EU price support.

    The bottom line is that in Fiji is the cost of producing sugarcane is about $35/ton give of take a buck or two. With the way the price are going, soon it will not make economic sense to grow cane – unless one can do it more efficiently. Thats why they are taking about other crops that complement cane, the co-generation of power at the mills and other cane related products.

    Here is what both sides have to work out – what is your best alternative if you do not agree on a lease agreement. It seems that the tenant farmers looked at their best alternative when they were forced to leave and I think many have since realized that they would be better off doing something other than cane farming. The landowner is now realizing that once that revenue stream is gone, life is hard and thus they are coming back to the bargaining table either ready to lease or negotiate. I think it is too late – the sugar industry will collapse.
    I think it would be a bad idea for the Fijian landowners to get into sugarcane farming – if those Indian, who have been doing it for generations can’t make a go for it, if would be hard for anyone new to get started into this – specially with the price of sugar and the high energy cost, even the FSC wants a bigger cut and push the trasnportation cost on the farmers.

    So why don’t you do the math.

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