by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
The government of Fiji has announced the allocation of FD9 million in the budget for a cane re-planting program for cane farmers throughout the nation.
With the sugar industry being one of Fiji’s exports, cane farming is an important agricultural activity that many Fijian locals are engaged in to sustain their living.
However, last year, the powerful Cyclone Winston hit the nation, destroying homes, food gardens and even the sugar cane crop. The crop was largely damaged and as a result, the yearly harvest outcome has seen a drop.
The government has now taken this initiative to help its cane farmers by allocating the $9 million for their development. The grant assistance is under the sugar cane development programme and will be used for land development, distribution of cane seeds and the supply of fertilizers to farmers for their farming and production.
Cane farmers have been urged to apply for the grant assistance as this will help them in their farming and production activities. All applications will be thoroughly screened and those successful, will be given assistance but according, each with different rates.
According to the Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Yogesh Karan, the processing of all the applications will be carried out by Fiji Sugar Corporation, monitored and overseen by the ministry, FSC and the Sugar Cane Growers Council. (SCGC)