Saturday, June 21, 2008


SATYA Naidu, 60, has lost a lot of things in life that he would love to have back but the 10-acre sugar cane farm he once lived off just outside Lautoka is not on his wish list.
He has grown into his "new job" and says driving a taxi is a dream job when compared to cane farming. He added that no amount of incentives would convince him to go back to planting cane.
Mr Naidu said people need to understand that farmers had made sure their children were well educated because they "do not want them to struggle the rest of their lives". He has five children, the youngest completing her final year at a university in Australia.
"Too much work, too much politics, too little money." That's how he puts it. Mr Naidu was raised on his father's farm and unlike his five siblings, chose to remain in the field years after he left school.
When the lease expired in 1989, he decided to venture into the taxi business after being told of an opening at the Lautoka hospital base.
"I had my PSV since 1969 but I was comfortable with cane farming. I wish I had left years ago. You have money in your pocket every day. With sugar, you wait until the next harvest season for the first payment. By then, you have debts to pay and end up with little in your pocket."