SUNBIZ

New Harvesters To Ease Labour Concerns

The new harvester brings to three the number of harvesters owned by Sarava Navau Cane Harvesters Cooperative.
13 Jul 2021 14:38
New Harvesters To Ease Labour Concerns
Cane trucks have been parked outside the Fiji Sugar Coporation mill in Lautoka for days, awaiting the new crushing season. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Two new mechanical harvesters purchased from India, are expected to ease the workload for the coming crushing season.

The Fiji Development Bank said the harvesters would arrive in August to assist cane farmers in Ba.

Sarava Navau Cane Harvesters Cooperative is one recipient.

The cooperative has six farmers who each own more than 12 acres each of sugar cane farms.

The new harvester brings to three the number of harvesters owned by Sarava Navau Cane Harvesters Cooperative.

Bisaru Cooperative is the second cane harvesting community to gain from the harvester.

The cooperatives purchased the two machines through the Fiji Development Bank (FDB).

The harvesters cost close to $10,000 each.

Fiji Development Bank general manager relationship and sales, Shaukat Ali, visited some farmers yesterday in Ba.

“This was a good response to meeting shortages in labour, which in turn affected transportation and consistent supply of cane to mills,” Mr Ali said.

Mr Ali said the visit was aimed at encouraging farmers to harvest, and address their financial concerns through lending facilities available at Fiji Development Bank.

“FDB finances solutions in interest rates, collateral requirements and loan repayment provisions that are suitable for farming communities,” he said.

He said 90 per cent of FDB’s total lending was to the sugarcane sector.

“Through its agricultural services loan schemes to farmers, co-operatives and partners, FDB has provided financing of over $20 million for mechanical cane harvesters,” said Mr Ali.

With Government grants supporting farmers, FDB has financed the purchase of over 80 harvesters across cane belts in Fiji, he said.

Mr Ali said the machines should support the transformation of the sugar industry in the long term.

Feedback: susana.tuilau@fijisun.com.fj



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