The initial $1 million that was transferred from the PM’s Flood Appeal Fund to the Ministry of Provincial Development will now be utilised by the Ministry of Sugar to assist cane farmers including repairs to roads and existing sugar crushing infrastructure.
This was revealed in a statement by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama after his meeting yesterday with the cane growers in the Western Division.
"The Fiji Government is committed in providing both technical and financial assistance including the adoption of result generating policies that will further boost efficiency for the sugar industry in the country," he said.
Bainimarama met with farmers in the two Ellington sectors in Rakiraki which comprises of more than 500 growers and spoke on further reforms proposed for the sugar industry.
“The sugar industry is here to stay and I want to assure you all that my government is determined to helping you realise those objectives," said Bainimarama.
He highlighted that other issues discussed included the adoption of stage fares for cane trucks similar to the Bus industry and the approval by the Prime Minister to have cane cutters paid every fortnight to coincide with the schedule for locomotives and cane trucks.
He also confirmed that arrangements are being made to look at sourcing cheaper fertilisers from China which could be shipped by the same company involved in the Nawailevu Bauxite Mine in Bua.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister used the opportunity to encourage growers to register using the Electronic Voter Registration process in order to vote in 2014.
By Ropate Valemei