Decades of perseverance pay off: Fiji’s Kaniyappa finally receives dues

Lautoka, Fiji: Kaniyappa, a resilient 77-year-old farmer from Malakua, Nadi, is a shining example of determination and perseverance. Despite facing legal hurdles that delayed his rightful dues, Kaniyappa’s dedication to supplying cane to the Fiji Sugar Corporation Limited (FSC) has finally been rewarded.

After 28 years of patient endurance, Kaniyappa’s perseverance bore fruit as he received his cane payment dues at the FSC headquarters last week. His journey to this moment was marked by countless challenges and moments of despair. However, with the support of his friend Ajij Khan and armed with a sack of documents, Kaniappa ventured to the FSC headquarters, hoping for a breakthrough.

Last year, during a fateful encounter, Kaniyappa found himself face-to-face with the CEO and the head of finance of FSC, who recognised the gravity of his situation and connected him with Mr Timothy Brown, the Registrar of the Sugar Industry Tribunal (SIT).

“I have been running around to sugar industry institutions trying to solve my issue, seeking assistance from stakeholders and was on the verge of giving up; thankfully, I met the CEO of FSC as he was on his way to a meeting. He immediately stopped to assist me despite his busy schedule and connected me to SIT,” said Kaniyappa. “Mr. Brown has been instrumental in resolving my issue,” he added.

Mr Brown, acknowledging Kaniappa’s decades of dedication to sugarcane farming, took swift action to assist him. One crucial step was facilitating the renewal of Kaniyappa’s land lease for another 30 years, securing his future in the industry. Kaniyappa has been a stalwart supplier for nearly three decades, delivering 700 to 800 metric tonnes of cane every season despite not receiving compensation. His resilience in the face of adversity is proof of his dedication and love for his craft. When asked about his motivation to continue supplying cane without payment, Kaniyappa attributed it to the wise words of his late father, who instilled in him the importance of perseverance and foresight.

“My father used to tell me that when you dig a well, ensure that there are three holes to have a continuous supply; if one dries up, there are two left to fill the vacuum,” shared Kaniyappa, reflecting on the guiding principles that sustained him throughout his journey.

The assistance provided by FSC, particularly through Mr Brown and the SIT, resolved Kaniyappa’s longstanding issue and reaffirmed the Corporation’s commitment to supporting the farmers who form the backbone of Fiji’s agricultural sector. Kaniyappa’s resilience extends beyond his personal triumph. His dedication benefits him and contributes to Fiji’s vital sugar sector. His story serves as a powerful reminder that persistence pays off, even in the harshest circumstances. “Kaniyappa’s journey embodies the spirit of resilience—a lesson for us all.”


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