Farmers face crop delivery struggles

A Draubuta villager digs out wild yams in Navosa. Picture: SUPPLIED/FILE

Villagers of Mare in Navosa are facing major transportation issues on a daily basis.

According to village headman Pauliasi Dai, farmers wake up at 2am, load their produce on horseback and walk three hours before reaching a road to transport their crops to the Nadi or Ba market.

Mr Dai said van hire cost $150 one-way and the farmers usually stay an average of three days at the Nadi market.

“They stay and sleep in the market until all their produce is sold,” he said.

“Those who don’t have horses have to borrow horses to load produce destined for Tokoni junction.

“When they return, they have to fork out another $150 for the return trip and a journey which at times makes them reach the village at midnight.

“If they leave Nadi at around 6pm, they would reach Tokoni junction at around 9pm.”

He said farmers returning from Nadi would be met by villagers at the Tokoni junction.

“They will wait with horses and the shopping is loaded on the horses before they trek back on foot to the village.

“If there is heavy rain, they would have to wait for water levels in the three rivers they have to cross to subside.

“Sometimes it can be an all-night wait.”

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