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Sugar Industry Applaud New Bainimarama Govt

Sugar Industry Applaud New Bainimarama Govt
Barges and tugs carrying out Phase Two of the salvaging work on the sunken MV Southern Phoenix at the Suva harbour. Photo: Inoke Rabonu
September 25
10:27 2014

Congratulatory in his messages have started to pour for the newly-elected Bainimarama Government from the sugar industry stakeholders.

Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty has been visiting the various sectors in the Western Division.

Farmers’ confidence

He said growers were happy after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was elected to lead the nation.

“During my visits growers, cane cutters and lorry drivers have indicated that the sugar industry will strive for better results under the Bainimarama Government,’’ Mr Chetty said.

“They are happy with the results from the elections and are optimistic of a brighter future of our sugar industry.”

The reforms, he said, in the sugar industry by the Bainimarama Government over the past eight years have benefitted all the stakeholders.

“The support has been tremendous towards the sugar industry and we will continue to work closely with the Bainimarama Government to help the industry reach greater heights.

“Growers are happy with the fertiliser subsidy and the $8.4 million grant announced in the 2014 budget under the Sugar Development Programme.”

Mr Chetty says recently, with the assistance of the stakeholders, they have managed to renew 72 land leases from iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) in Nawaicoba sector.

“Offer letters have been issued and the council is hoping to get more growers and areas under sugar cane farming,” he added.

Moreover, industry stakeholders had drafted a Sugar Industry Action Plan which was endorsed by the Bainimarama Government.

“The Sugar Industry Action Plan was put in place to revamp our sugar industry to economically sustainable levels,’’ Mr Chetty said.

“Under the plan, the industry is hoping to increase the sugar yield per hectare annually.”

He said in 2012 the industry had 41,000 hectares of land with an average yield of 40 tonnes per hectare which increased in 2013 with 44,000 hectares under sugar cane farming with an average yield of 45 tonnes per hectare.

“Mill efficiencies have improved which has resulted in better sugar make with quality harvested cane delivered to the mills and embarking on new varieties of sugar cane.

TCTS

The tonnes cane to tonnes sugar ratio (TCTS) has improved, standing at 8.6 this season, which Mr Chetty says is a huge improvement.

“The TCTS ratio over the years stood at 14 but because of the reforms, this ratio has improved and continues to improve.

Mr Chetty further said the industry achieved a better ratio under the Bainimarama leadership.

Feedback: sheik.dean@fijisun.com.fj

 

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