SUNBIZ

Karan Expects Increase in Sugar Production

Sugarcane production is expected to increase in this year’s crop season. This after the Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary, Yogesh Karan and South Pacific Fertilisers Limited (SPFL) board director, Sundresh
01 Feb 2018 10:39
Karan Expects Increase  in Sugar Production
From left: The South Pacific Fertilizers Limited (SPFL) board member , Sundresh Chetty with the Ministry of Sugar Industry PS , Yogesh Karan after the signing of two grant agreements on fertilizer and weedicide subsidy on Wednesday , January 31. Photo: Maraia Vula.

Sugarcane production is expected to increase in this year’s crop season.

This after the Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary, Yogesh Karan and South Pacific Fertilisers Limited (SPFL) board director, Sundresh Chetty signed two Grant Agreements on Fertiliser Subsidy and Weedicide Subsidy.

Mr Karan said to encourage and ensure that growers apply the recommended quantity of fertiliser in cane fields; government further increased the subsidy from $14.09 to $25.59 per 50kg bag of fertiliser.

There is also an increase in the fertiliser subsidy budget allocation from $9.7 million (2016-2017) to $15.35 million under the Ministry of Sugar Industry 2017-2018.

“This is an increase of 82 per cent in subsidy by Government when compared to the 2016 fiscal year.

“Now, the farmers are paying $20 per 50kg bag of fertiliser which is 44 per cent of the price of $45.59 per 50 kg bag.

“Government pays $25.59 which is 56 per cent of price for 50kg fertiliser.

“Some of the farmers had purchased fertiliser early last year and to apply it on cane plants that will be harvested in 2018 season.

“Therefore, to ensure that all growers benefit equally from the new subsidised price consistent with 2018 crop calendar, Government has back dated the new fertiliser subsidy rate from January 1, 2017 instead of August 1, 2017.”

Mr Karan said the price of weedicides have increased overtime that has affected growers’ ability to apply recommended quantity of weedicide to their cane farms to control weed.

“The Government has introduced a Weedcide Subsidy programme with a total budget allocation of $6.3 million under the Ministry of Sugar Industry 2017-2018 financial year to subsidise the price of weedicides.

He said from August 1, 2017, Government provides 55 per cent of subsidy while growers pay 45 per cent of the price of the four recommended weedicide on sugarcane fields; Diuron WDG80, Valpar King, Glyphosate 36 and 2D Amine 720.

“With the increase in usage of fertiliser by the growers and introduction of new weedicide subsidy, the production is anticipated to increase in 2018 crop season,” said Mr Karan.

SPFL general manager Ashween Ram said: We need to apply the recommended rates of fertiliser if we want to achieve a good yield.

“We looking forward to the cane season and I am looking forward to a similar support from the government to the cane farmers

The farmers will also benefit in the following ways:

• Reduce input and total production cost

• Improve their sugarcane yield and qual     ity

•Overall, increase farmers profitability     and income

• Build confidence and entice new farmers to take up sugarcane farming.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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