Fijileaks Investigation found:
(1) Proper bio-security protocol wasn't followed by the processes during fumigation
(2) Protocol for 47.3 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes was not followed
This lapse in fumigation protocol warrants an investigation by Fiji and NZ authorities
Who will pay for the loss to farmers and exporters, especially when they are struggling to keep their farms operational in this drought conditions?
Produce exporters pay exorbitant charges for this protocol to Fiji Biosecurity and Naturesway plus airfreight costs
Farmers are paid after two weeks by the exporters
Will they subsidize farmers with loss of income?
Khaiyum should be honest and not hide like he did when he went to Sigatoka last week - he knows that lately machines had malfunctioned!
The affected farmers are alleging a Biosecurity Authority of Fiji official placed a wrong certification on the export produce that led to the ban.
More than more 500 farmers are affected by the ban who are now worried about their produce.
The farmers were earlier this week informed by the importers from New Zealand that their products are temporary not allowed in New Zealand.
It’s something these farmers say they are not responsible for.
“It was taken three minutes earlier (from the High Temperature Forced Unit) and the thermal reading printer is automated by electronic devices . The Chamber people told the that particular officer do not send this but he excerised his powers and sent it,” said valley road farmer, Anil Kumar.
Produce that were earmarked for New Zealand are now being sent to the local markets.
Seventy percent of produce from this particular area in Sigatoka head for overseas markets with agriculture produce the only economic source for more than 500 families.
With the temporary ban in place, farmers say they are making a loss in thousands of dollars.
Farmer Rajendra Prasad says they have over the past seven days lost close to $5000.
“I am only planting egg plant, I lose close to $1000 to $1500. The exporters they were buying for $1.50 kg , now the middle man giving us $2 a bag. We have worked very hard. It was drought last year.”
These farmers say they have been meeting with the relevant authorities to get access to New Zealand market again.
“The manager operations of Mahen Export and I was at the meeting yesterday. They promised us that they will do it but I don’t know how long it will take.”
While the negotiations maybe ongoing, farmers are keeping their fingers crossed to regain access to the New Zealand market. - See more at: http://fijione.tv/500-farmers-affected-as-new-zealand-places-produce-ban/#sthash.jpeSy2sx.dpu