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Growers Upbeat On New Tonnage Prices

Growers Upbeat On New Tonnage Prices
Vitogo Sugar cane Farmer Uraia Bauleka at his farm in Lautoka, on June 29, 2018. Photo: Peni Komaisavai
June 30
11:43 2018

Sugar cane farmers are upbeat about newfound opportunities in the recently announced increased budget allocation by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on Thursday night.

Two farmers in the Vitogo area in Lautoka, Uraia Bauleka, 72, and Raynil Vikash Chand, 24, said the increase in prices per tonnage indicated the continuous help by the current government.

“All this shows is that Government is making an effort in helping out farmers like us in striving for success and keeping our farms operational,” Mr Bauleka said.

Government allocated $62.3million to the sugar industry and increasing the price per tonnage from $82 to $85 per tonne for all cane payments for the next three years.

This included sugar cane replanting, fertiliser subsidy, weedicide subsidy, farm mechanisation, subsidy of cane cartage, the rehabilitation for cane access road, the incentives for new farmers to grow cane,  and cane top up payments by the Government.

Mr Chand said the slight increase was more than they expected and they would be willing to work with that.

“Some may say that this is not enough, but at least we should be grateful that we have witnessed an increase and we can work on that from there,” Mr Chand said.

“This means now we have a few extra dollars lying here and there to spend on other things such as basic household items and so forth.”

Mr Bauleka owns nine acres of land while Mr Chand owns 30 acres of land, which is currently divided into two farms.

Both farmers are confident of a good harvest and a profitable harvesting year for them and their families.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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