Rising transport costs worry Beka farmers
Farmers are taking a beating from the prolonged border closures and lockdown.
And farmers on Beqa Island said rising transportation costs were one of the main problems stemming from government sanitation measures.
Yesterday two farmers from Dakuni to Beqa said they barely made any money as the cost of goods was crippling as well.
Akuila Niumataiwalu and Marika Tuicaucau said the cost of the fiberglass boat trip to Navua was around $ 30, and previously seven people could share the cost of a ride.
With the Covid-19 restrictions, only four people were allowed on the boat – meaning passengers had to shell out more.
Mr Tuicaucau, a father of three, said they not only had to cope with reduced income from the sale of agricultural products, but also the cost of basic food items in Navua.
“The closure of the border has affected the farmers, especially because we cannot get our agricultural products to Suva and we are forced to sell them at a lower price in Navua so that we can buy basic food items and return home. with us before the 6pm curfew. “
The duo were at the Wainadoi border to trade yaqona with a client from Suva.
They also said buses were not available in the area so they had to hire a taxi for $ 32 to take them to and from the border.
“It is costing us dearly and we are in difficulty. “