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FIJI NEWS
June 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The European Union has given $9 million to Secretariat of the Pacific Communities to improve key services to cane farmers.

The funding is aimed at helping Fijian farmers diversify their income from cane.

It will also help them to seize new opportunities in the horticultural sector and to strengthen the fair-trade sugar cane farmers associations ability to provide better sugar cane prices.

“The EU-funded Improvement of key services to agriculture project aims to deliver better livelihood outcomes for the families of Fiji’s sugar belt region,” the EU said in a statement.

“To allow this to happen, farmers rely on better access to improved farming technologies and marketing methods.”

The project will help to implement the new horticultural export and import substitution opportunities identified in the Fiji Sugar National Adaptation Strategy Agricultural Diversification Component.

It also aims to improve the capacity of the key support services available to farmers in the cane belt area by promoting private sector partnerships, the supply of high performing seedlings and other inputs, and assistance with the quality control and marketing measures required to supply high-value markets at home and abroad.

It will also help farmers' fair-trade associations to build better capacities for better agriculture extension delivery to their members.

By Ropate Valemei

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