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Gavoka To Chaudhry: Farmers Will Be Told

Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka has assured former prime minister and National Farmers Union general secretary Mahendra Chaudhry that Ra farmers would receive an update soon on the Penang Mill. He
01 Jul 2016 10:20
Gavoka To Chaudhry:  Farmers Will Be Told
The ANZ Stadium in Suva.

Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka has assured former prime minister and National Farmers Union general secretary Mahendra Chaudhry that Ra farmers would receive an update soon on the Penang Mill.

He said this during the submissions to the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs Consultation on the Reform of the Sugar Cane Industry. The committee was holding consultations at the Civic Centre in Ba yesterday.

“The question about Penang Mill converted to a syrup mill caused a lot of anxiety in Rakiraki on Wednesday and we will get this properly explained to the farmers in Rakiraki soon,” Mr Gavoka said.

The Opposition MP made these comments after Mr Chaudhry told the committee that farmers were not clear on the next course of action after the Penang Mill was severely damaged by Cyclone Winston.

“Following the announcement by the Prime Minister, Mr Khan issued several confusing statements on the future of the mill,” he said.

Mr Chaudhry also said that the Fiji Sugar Corporation needed to provide a statement to the affected farmers to clear the air on what would happen to Penang Mill in years to come.

“On 17th of June, Mr Khan made a statement saying the Penang Mill would reopen as a syrup production plant,” he said.

“Now this is a marked departure from an earlier Government announcement stating that Penang Mill would be fixed in time for the mill to crush in the 2017 season.

“Now Mr Khan is saying that the mill will be out of operation for two years and that parts from Penang Mill are already being taken for use in other mills.

“Ra cane growers really need a categorical statement from the Government as to what the future of the mill is.”

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

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