Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Mahendra Reddy has urged farmers of Benai Settlement on the outskirts of Koronubu in Ba not to misuse subsidised government assistance as it will not be tolerated.
Reddy highlighted this during an informal talanoa session with farmers.
While responding to issues highlighted by farmers of Benai, Reddy says the assistance which is provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, particularly that of land clearing and preparation is to be used for the sole purpose of crop farmers and not for sugarcane farms.
He told the farmers not to misuse the Government subsidized the cost of tractor hours for land preparations other than crop farming.
He says, if a crop farmer has sought assistance from the Ministry for land preparation, he has to use it for the purpose for which he had requested, to prepare the land for the non-sugar agriculture.
He strongly discouraged sugarcane farmers from attempting to access the Ministry of Agriculture land preparation assistance for their sugarcane farms as the Ministry’s resources were limited and solely intended for crop farming.
Reddy says if farmers are abusing the system, they should immediately refrain because there are other areas and farmers who are in desperate need of these services elsewhere.
The Ministry of Agriculture offers a Government subsidized rate of $28.50 per hour for both land preparation and land clearing in comparison to the $450.00 per acre rate for land preparation, and $4,500.00 per acre for land clearing offered by private contractors.
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