SUNBIZ

$10M For Sigatoka Agri-based Business

With this new project, Mr Kumar said they would employ around 30 to 300 farm hands, five to 10 technical advisors, five to seven administration staff and farm managers by the end of the fifth year of operation.
03 Feb 2020 10:07
$10M For Sigatoka Agri-based Business
Suren Kumar. Photo: Charles Chambers

A capital investment of $10 million is expected to be invested and re-invested into a major agri-business project in Sigatoka.

Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy was on hand to affirm Government’s support behind the project.

The head of the project, Suren Kumar, is a leading partner of Sydney based investment banking firm, Tavuni Capital Investment Limited.

Mr Kumar said they have not named the project yet, though this would be done soon.

Mr Kumar said the capital investment profile was as follows:

* FJD$10m of investment and re-investment in the initial five to 10 years.

* Further investment will be re-assessed prior to the end of the eighth year from commencement

* Stage 1 (1-3 years) Crops include:

5,000 units of lime

* 5,000 units of lemon,

* 5,000 units of Hass avocado,

* 5,000 units of coconuts,

* 200 acres of Duruka,

* 300 acres of Dalo/Taro. Dalo plantation has already commenced.

Under Stage 2 , which will be between three to six years, there will be additional planting of:

* 5,000 units of lime subject to stage 1 success,

* 5,000 units of lemon subject to stage 1 success,

* 5,000 units of hass avocado subject to stage 1 success,

* 5,000 units of coconuts subject to stage 1 success,

* 300 acres of duruka regardless of stage one success of other crops.

Mr Kumar said other capital investment considerations included the purchase of plant and machinery such as tractors, vehicles.

With this new project, Mr Kumar said they would employ around 30 to 300 farm hands, five to 10 technical advisors, five to seven administration staff and farm managers by the end of the fifth year of operation.

Markets would include local, regional Pacific nations, developed markets like Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

All farm locations for the project would be anywhere on Viti Levu as along as the soil type and conditions meet the criteria.

Mr Kumar appointed Jai Nand as general manager based in Fiji.

“We will work closely in implementing the strategy in a methodical and orderly manner,” Mr Kumar said.

Mr Nand is the former chief executive officer of Asco Motors in Fiji with responsibilities across the Pacific.

Prior to Asco Motors, Mr Nand worked as senior management levels for British American Tobacco in Fiji and Australia for over a decade and also with Fiji Development Bank.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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