Gavoka stresses on govt support to revive sugar industry

Gavoka stresses on govt support to revive sugar industry

By Rashika Kumar
Friday 10/05/2024

We are committed to supporting the revival and sustainability of the sugar industry, and we are prepared to meet the challenges it faces head-on.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Viliame Gavoka highlighted this while opening the Sugar Industry Workshop.

Gavoka says from the highest levels of leadership to grassroots initiatives, they stand united in their determination to see the sugar industry thrive once more.

He says from the complexities surrounding land lease renewals, which have posed significant obstacles for the farmers, to the impact of the expiration of EU preferential pricing, which has dealt a substantial setback to the livelihoods of hardworking cane farmers, these challenges have tested the resilience of the industry.

Gavoka says the coalition government understands the importance of providing tangible support to farmers, who toil tirelessly to nurture sugarcane fields.

The Acting Prime Minister says the initiatives outlined by the Minister, from record-breaking cane payments to innovative programs aimed at boosting production, are just the beginning of their efforts to uplift and empower those at the heart of this industry.

Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture, Vatimi Rayalu says the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways is currently collaborating with the Ministry of Multi-Ethnic Affairs and the Sugar Industry to assist farmers in the sugar sector to create an enabling environment that fosters economic opportunities, food and nutrition security, improving livelihoods, climate resilience and sustainability for all Fijians.

He says the collaboration will include site visits to all cane-growing farmers in their respective localities in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu to gather information on potential areas for development.

Rayalu says it will also include developing farm plans for crop and livestock production in sugarcane growing areas and will include sugarcane farmers in the current farm assistance and programs offered by the Ministry.

He says the collaboration will include carrying out pilot agriculture production on selected farms based on their strengths. The Agriculture Minister also says they will be working closely with the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji to develop and use new technologies for soil improvement and new varieties of crops.

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