New Loan Packages For North Farmers

A new loan package has been extended to sugarcane farmers in the Northern Division.
07 Oct 2022 15:18
New Loan Packages For North Farmers
From left: Divisional Agricultural Officer Northern Division, Sandeep Sharma, Sugarcane Growers Fund Labasa office Loans Assistants, Ashiana Bi, Finau Rokotiga, Fiji Sugar Cooperation Labasa Sugar mill Harvesting and Transport Manager, Rajnesh Narayan, Ranita Shivanji and SCGFchief executive officer, Raj Sharma in Labasa on October 6, 2022. Photo: Sampras Anand.

A new loan package has been extended to sugarcane farmers in the Northern Division.

This is through the Business Link Pacific (BLP) specialized Small Medium Enterprises (SME) initiative to help boost farmers supplementary farming and in­come.

This extension of the SME loan package was confirmed yesterday by the Sugar Cane Growers Fund, chief executive officer, Raj Shar­ma, in Labasa.


The BLP loans programme is implemented by DT Global in its capacity as Managing Contractor of the Pacific SME Finance Facil­ity Pilot Programme.

DT Global partnered with the Sugar Cane Growers Fund to de­liver funding of $625,000 FJD on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) under a New Zealand international aid.

The loan application opens next week.


There is a 60-month repayment period with an interest rate of five per cent.

Mr Sharma said the loan as­sistance would enable farmers to have start-up money available to diversify into supplementary farming.

Successfully applicants would receive funds ranging from $5000- $15,000.

The fund supported supplemen­tary farming ventures like: gin­ger, turmeric, duruka, beekeep­ing and prawn farming.


“The Government continues to subsidise various costs for the sugarcane farmers in terms of supporting fertilisers, transpor­tation allowance, some level of road subsidies, cane planting as­sistance,” Mr Sharma said.

International markets

Mr Sharma said their board had also asked them to identify mar­kets for these products so that it does not become excessively abundant.


“We are also talking to buyers and even the people you know who can get these things across for the farmers,” he emphasized.

Divisional Agricultural Officer, Sandeep Sharma, said they would provide technical support to farmers venturing into this new supplementary integrated farm­ing.

Mr Sharma said sugarcane pro­duction is by-far constant so mov­ing into new forms of farming was essential.


He said turmeric farming was preferable to the Northern cli­mate and was in demand in the United States of America.

Farmer plans to engage in tur­meric farming

Kanchan Lata, said she would make an application next week when the application process opened.


She owns a six-acre sugarcane farm at Vunimoli, Labasa and is adamant to use two acres for sup­plementary farming.

“I have already planted some turmeric on my farm for fam­ily use, but, with this assistance, I can venture into commercial farming,” she reiterated.

If successful, Ms. Lata plans to use the loan package to improve drainage and enhance the cultiva­tion of turmeric on my farm.





  • Business Link Pacific (BLP) connects small and medium sized businesses in the Pacific to local advisory services. The BLP quality approved network of advisors offers accessible services for business growth. Furthermore, BLP offers subsidies to help businesses improve their outcomes.


  • BLP is a private sector development programme funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). Its core team is based in Auckland and supported by in-country partners in Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Cook Islands.



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