Wakenaam’s farmers moving on from rice due to late payments, high costs

Cattle grazing on land that was previously used to cultivate rice (Terrence Thompson photo)

Fed up with late payments for their paddy and mounting production costs, many of Wakenaam’s rice farmers have shifted to cultivating plantain and coconut. 

During a visit to the island two weeks ago, Wakenaam Neighbour-hood Democratic Council (NDC) Chairman Sheik Ahmad said that as a result of the challenges facing the farmers, only about 35% of the available land is being used for rice. 

Instead of rice crops, a lot of the land is now covered by weeds and shrubs and most of the farmers have resorted to using their lands for cattle grazing.

According to veteran rice farmer Dharmendra Nandcoo, who has been planting rice for more than five decades, one of the main issues the farmers currently face is late payment by the main miller who purchases most of their rice…..

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