SUNBIZ

EU Assists Cane Farmer Run Co-operatives

The first of the eight European Union funded training workshops for cane farmers began yesterday in Lautoka. The EU recently gave $33,000 in grants to assist cane farmers with training
15 Mar 2018 10:00
EU Assists Cane Farmer Run  Co-operatives
Sajnesh Deo (front right) in discussion with South Pacific Commission project manager Judith van Eijnatten and Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty (second right) with the cane farmers in Lautoka on March 14, 2018 Photo: Charles Chambers

The first of the eight European Union funded training workshops for cane farmers began yesterday in Lautoka.

The EU recently gave $33,000 in grants to assist cane farmers with training that will enable the effective running of their co-operatives.

South Pacific Commission’s project manager Judith van Eijnatten said this was part of a new project being run with the Sugar Cane Growers Council (SCGC) for the co-operatives.

Ms Eijnatten said training would also be provided under this assistance for staff of the SCGC.

“Our projects work with the farmers and to support the extensions done by the Fiji Sugar Corporation Limited,” she said

“Government came in and supported the farmers with grants for new harvesters and with those co-operatives we realised that training was needed for the cane farmers to effectively run the co-operatives.

“We realised that the farmers needed help to run the cooperatives properly.

“We know we had the money to run these training programmes but we were not qualified so that is why we engaged the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism’s Department of Cooperative to assist.”

More than 20 national farmer-run co-operatives received $90,000 in Government assistance last year.

The farmers contributed towards the balance for these machines and this was only done through the formation of co-operatives.

There will be eight two-day training workshops.

The first day will deal with co-operative responsibilities and how it is run.

This will be followed by discussions on the roles and responsibilities of co-operatives and what the legislation entails.

On the second day, the workshop will deal with how budgets are made and managed.

“We hope the co-operatives would operate better and they get a profit out of all this,” Ms Eijnatten said.

SCGC chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty said the idea to have the training was mooted by the Council.

Mr Chetty said yesterday’s workshop had 24 participants from seven co-operatives in Lautoka, Nadi and Sigatoka.

“All participants would be awarded with certificates after the completion of the workshops,” he added.

Mr Chetty said a workshop for cane farmers in Ba would be held on March 20 and 21, followed by one for Tavua and Rakiraki on May 25 and 26.

There will be one in Labasasa on an unconfirmed date.

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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