NATION

Fiji Prime Minister Highlights Success In Sugar Industry

Mr Bainimarama said the average turnover cane for the past three years was less than 1.5 per cent of the total harvestable cane meaning 98.5 per cent were harvested.
08 Aug 2019 13:30
Fiji Prime Minister Highlights Success In Sugar Industry
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Parliament. Photo: Parliament of Fiji

As of last week, 410,447 tonnes of cane were crushed by the three sugar mills.

This was stated by the Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Industry Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday while updating the House on the progress of the Sugar Industry.

He made the comment after Opposition Member Inosi Kuridrani questioned him on the update of the industry.

Mr Bainimarama said the average turnover cane for the past three years was less than 1.5 per cent of the total harvestable cane meaning 98.5 per cent were harvested.

“This is already a great accomplishment,” he said.

He said Government was committed in ensuring that every sugarcane farmer in Fiji was armed with the tools and assistance to harvest every last crop.

He highlighted that $70.4 million had been allocated to the industry in the 2019-2020 National Budget allocation which was aligned to the Fiji Sugar Corporation’s five-year strategic action plan called SAP.

He reminded Mr Kuridrani that SAP was based on targeted interventions to reverse the decline in sugarcane production.

He said through adopting new innovations, it would assist farmers in reducing cost of production and improving their viability including undertaking measures to ensure that all standing over cane was harvested, transported and processed at the mills and income was generated for both the farmers and FSC sugar sales.

Mr Bainimarama also added that during the current harvesting season, the corporation would be receiving a total of 117 new trucks to be distributed among all sectors.

This is to ease cane transportation issues. 16 of these trucks have arrived and has been distributed to few sectors, 27 will be distributed this week while the rest of 74 will be delivered before end of August, he says.

He also added that with the 71 harvesters in operation it is expected that more than 40 per cent of the total cane would be mechanically harvested this season.

In areas which are difficult to reach, Mr Bainimarama said the Government was forever grateful to the Fiji Corrections Service and the Methodist Church of Fiji for their efforts in filling the gaps when it comes to harvesting seasons.

He said despite the slow start in the first few weeks due to teething issues, Fiji Sugar Corporation had now seen improvement in all mills performances.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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