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New Sweet Sugar Deal Announced

New Sweet Sugar Deal Announced
June 30
11:55 2017

For the first time, a Government has allocated funds to entice new farmers into sugarcane farming.

$2million has been allocated to fund a New Farmers Assistance programme that will provide assistance to Fijians seeking to start a sugarcane farm for the first time.

Under this programme, Government will meet all costs in relation to lease acquisition with the iTaukei Land Trust Board, land preparation and planting costs for the cultivation of the first four hectares of sugarcane and the acquisition of cane contract with Fiji Sugar Corporation.

Over the years, a decline in the number of cane growers has been noted. Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Voreqe Bainimarama has been vocal about the need to get new farmers to take up cane farming.

More than $5.1million has been allocated to cover the cartage costs for the transportation of sugarcane from Penang to Rarawai Mill in the 2017–2018 budget.

A total of $60 million has been allocated to the Sugar Ministry and part of the new initiatives include providing for cartage cost which was promised by Mr Bainimarama to ensure cane farmers are not burdened with this additional cost.

$4million has also been allocated to make a special payment to the remaining 3167 growers that were not covered under the Government subsidy paid in the last financial year. Also, another new initiative which was announced last night by Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is a weedicide subsidy.

$6.318 million has been allocated to support the weedicide subsidy for the procurement of weedicides such as Diuron 80 and Glyphosate and Amine 720 to enable farmers to adopt better weed control and keep their production costs stable.

$1million is allocated to support the use of machineries on sugar cane farms through assistance to cooperatives and farmer groups.

Another $1million has been allocated under the Small Grants Scheme Programme to meet requests regarding essential infrastructure that are raised during sector meetings and industry consultations, including irrigation works, water pumps, boreholes, water tanks, and so on.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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