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Kumar Tells Of Cane Help

Kumar Tells Of Cane Help
Sugarcane farmers at the field in Drasa, Lautoka, on April 6, 2017. Photo: Charles Chambers
November 06
11:04 2018

Twenty-three people yesterday signed up with the New Farmers Scheme which comes under the $2 million Budget that was geared to getting more people into cane farming and increasing the yied.

Director of Sugar, Sanjay Kumar said this was the first time that they had rolled out the new farmer’s assistance scheme.

“The idea here is to encourage more people to come and do sugarcane farming and to address our declining number of farmers and also to also encourage new cane farmers to the industry,” Mr Kumar said.

“Through this new farmer’s assistance scheme, Government will be covering the costs towards the Ministry of Lands towards the offer to the new farmer for a piece of land.

“Not only that, Government will also be paying for the weedicide and fertiliser costs.

“Currently the Government is paying 56 per cent so basically for every bag of 45kg of fertiliser, Government is paying $25.59.

“So for two hectares, you will not pay back any cost for fertiliser cost for the first round of planting only, but next year then we will roll out into the normal assistance and you will be required to pay as the other farmers are expected to pay.”

Of the 23 new farmers, 10 are from Labasa, two from Lautoka, six from Rarawai and five are from Penang Mill area.


Four new women join

Mr Kumar said the four new women cane farmers was a good indication that females were also taking an interest in the sugar industry as this industry still is dominated by males.

He said once the new farmers signed the agreement; payment would be made directly to either iTaukei Land Trust Board or the Lands Department.

Two farmer co-operatives were also assisted by the Government yesterday to purchase new mechanical harvesters for cane harvesting.

The Rarawai/Penang Cane Producers Association and the Lautoka Cane Producers Association signed their grant assistance and would be assisted with $90,000 each for the purchase.




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