NEWS

PM Reveals How Much Sugar Industry Has Lost To Five Cyclones Since 2016

As we are all aware, this is a tough time for cane growing. Our climate is changing and that has had serious impacts through stronger storms, longer droughts and, of course, as we are experiencing now, a lot of flooding,
13 Feb 2021 10:55
PM Reveals How Much Sugar Industry Has Lost To Five Cyclones Since 2016
Frome left: Minister for Trade Faiyaz Koya , Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Education Minister Roasy Akbar outside Parliament on February 12, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The sugar industry has incurred a total loss of $255 million from five of the 13 cyclones that have struck Fiji since 2016.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the total sugarcane crop loss was over $85 million.

However, when questioned about the measures adopted to reduce cane production costs and improve yield per hectare, he said the yield has increased by 21 per cent.

From an average yield of 38 tonnes per hectare in 2016, the yield has increased to 46 tonnes per hectare in 2020.

Total cane production has also increased from 1.39 million tonnes in 2016 to 1.81 million tonnes in 2019 and 1.73 million tonnes in 2020 which is an increase of 30 per cent.

Mr Bainimarama said the Government was deeply vested in increasing per hectare cane yield through support for several strategies through the Fiji Sugar Corporation and Sugar Research Institute of Fiji.

“As we are all aware, this is a tough time for cane growing. Our climate is changing and that has had serious impacts through stronger storms, longer droughts and, of course, as we are experiencing now, a lot of flooding,” Mr Bainimarama said.

He added that poor drainage has led to waterlogged farms which has depleted soil health due to rising soil salinity.

“Over the past five years, nearly $100 million worth of assistance has been provided to support cane planting grants, weedicide and fertiliser subsidy programmes for inputs,” he said.

Backed by cane planting grant assistance, a total of 18,821 hectares of cane was planted over the past five years.

The Ministry of Sugar Industry has also assisted growers with $40,000 each to procure a total of 25 tractors along with implements to assist them in land preparation.

An addition 239 growers were assisted with farm equipment and implements.

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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