Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Growers paid under manual support program

The Fiji Sugar Corporation Limited (FSC) has announced the successful disbursement of payments to 8,336 growers under the manual cane harvesting program for the 2023 season.

2833 growers from Rarawai, 3621 from Labasa, 1924 from Lautoka and 958 from Penang have been paid $1 per tonne each for all manually harvested cane, demonstrating a significant stride towards supporting growers amidst prevailing labour challenges in the industry.

The manual harvest program, introduced as part of the 2023/2024 budget, aimed to alleviate the financial burden on growers who engage in manual harvesting.

The total payment of $1.03 million is the first instance of this type of grant assistance being provided to the growers in the Sugar Industry.

This initiative has been sought to mitigate the rising costs of manual labour in the cane harvesting process.

FSC chief executive, Bhan Pratap Singh while acknowledging the efforts of Minister for Sugar Industry, Charan Jeath Singh in securing the grant from the Government, highlighted the critical need for such support.

“Sugarcane growers have encountered mounting difficulties securing manual labour for harvesting in recent years.”

“The heightened demand for harvesting rates from the limited labour pool has aggravated financial burdens on growers, who also incur additional expenses for labour provisions such as food, accommodation, and utilities.”

Singh emphasised the continued reliance on manual harvesting for cane grown on slopes and hilly terrain due to the unavailability of suitable mechanical harvesters in Fiji.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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