SUNBIZ

Landowners In Bua Happy With FSC’s Joint Venture Programme

  Landowners in Nasarowaqa, Bua are happy with the Government’s joint venture programme initiated by the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC). Sakuisa Kabakoro, 67 who utilised his 360 acre land for
17 Dec 2018 10:00
Landowners In Bua Happy With FSC’s Joint Venture Programme
Front from left: Fiji Sugar Corporation’s chief operating officer Navin Chandra, FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark, FSC Land Acquisition manager-Labasa Viliame Volai with farmers at Nasarawaqa Bua on December 14, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra

 

Landowners in Nasarowaqa, Bua are happy with the Government’s joint venture programme initiated by the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC).

Sakuisa Kabakoro, 67 who utilised his 360 acre land for sugarcane planting said that he was happy that the land was being utilised.

“This is a good thing for us as everyone will be benefitting from this” said Mr Kambakoro.

“Under the programme, FSC prepares the land, does plantation of sugarcane, manages it and undertakes harvesting as well.

“This is opening up opportunities to grow.            “The plantation started just this year and we have also been learning a lot about sugarcane plantation,” said Mr Kabakoro.

He said that it would lead to income generation for younger generation of the area as well.

“It was a struggle before as the land had been idle for so long.”

Another landowner, Sekove  Nawavu, 58 who is providing a total of 110 acres of land to be used for farming said that the initiative had opened up new opportunities for growth and development especially in Bua.

“We have never had sugarcane plantation here before and this is something new,” he said.

Mr Nawavu said that he was also looking forward to entire crushing processes and that supplying cane from his own farm would be a huge step for him.

Chief Executive Officer of FSC Graham Clark said that the funding of the joint venture scheme was possible through the budget support from government under Fiji Cane Planting Grant (CPG).

“FSC has a steering committee which also includes a member of the landowning clan or the mataqali,” said Mr Clark.

“Any profits made are shared on a 70 per cent allocation to landowning units while FSC maintains 30 per cent,” he said.

“FSC will also manage operational aspects of the farm and the mataqali units can usually provide the labor at a charge out rate.

“It is important that members of mataqali also get necessary on-job training on cane farming and these acquired skills will assist them should they decide to operate and manage sugarcane farms in future.”

He said that the Joint Venture scheme would be an important indicator towards achieving the targets.

“There are other two models in North with which we are planning to make arrangements with,” he said.

He said that more interests were also being shown by landowners all across Fiji in order to be a part of the joint venture scheme.

“In Vanua Levu, we have a very successful farm named as Tsunami Farms which gives us 7000 tonnes of sugarcane,” he said.

He said that three options had been available to the people in order to undertake large scale farming. This includes the straight lease option, joint venture and 100 per cent option where FSC is purely engaged in a consultative manner but providing some dedicated technical advisory support.

“Straight lease option is whereby FSC leases the land from the landowning entity and pays the annual lease as lease premium,” said Mr Clark.

 

Labasa Mill Target Next Year

Meanwhile, 620,000 tonnes of sugarcane has been crushed by the Labasa Sugar Mill during the 2018 crushing season.

“This has produced around 64, 000 tonnes of sugar from the Labasa mill.”

He said that site visitation in the Northern Division was important in order to inspect land area and progress being made on newly reclaimed land as well.

“It was an important visit today as I was able to engage personally with farmers and landowners in the North,” he said.

He said that Fiji had secured China as it export market this year where part of sugar from the Labasa sugar mill had been transported.

He also said that joint venture programmes in the North would further boost production.

He said plans were in place to get the Labasa mill to crush 700,000 tonnes of sugarcane in the next crushing season.

“Our aim after that is to take Labasa to a million tonnes.”

This was after the Labasa mill had a total crushing of 620,000 tonnes of sugarcane in the 2018 crushing season.

“The more we venture into new areas and build our yield, the quicker we will be able to reach a million tonnes,” he said.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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