Capacity building workshop to benefit cane growers

Update: 4:31PM KNOWLEDGE and skills learnt by sugarcane cooperative executives at a two-day capacity building workshop in Lautoka last week will benefit growers within their respective farming communities.

This was the view of Judith Van Eijnatten, the Pacific Community’s
project manager for Fairtrade associations capacity building and farm advisory
services support group.

Ms Van Eijnatten said in her experience over the past four years with
growers, there was an urgent need to increase financial literacy and management
capacity.

“We are working with the Sugar Cane Growers Council to implement a
number of training programs for sugarcane cooperatives – they’ve got the
component organisational strengthening of farmer organisations and are
representative of farmers,” she said.

“This project has been around since 2015 and there was a
predecessor called the Fairtrade First Phase and during various phases we have
been doing training needs assessments amongst farmers.

“We run different types of trainings like Farming as a Business and
Leadership Communication for leader farmers; this is designed to help them be
better handle their cluster and transfer technologies, knowledge and
skills.”

Ms Van Eijnatten added that the success of previous projects showed that
training conducted with cane cooperative executives would reap similar results.

“The cane co-operatives came up recently with the Government grants
for mechanical harvesters and with that we saw new training needs.

“The SCGC had the same ideas as SPC, they had done their training
needs assessment so we got together and decided to hold this workshop.

“And because the SCGC and the SPC project doesn’t have background
in cooperatives, we decided to collaborate with the Ministry of Industry and
Trade’s Department of Cooperatives to conduct this training.”

Growers’ co-operatives who received $90,000 each from Government as part
of a $2 million allocation to boost the purchase of mechanical harvesters are
undergoing training at the Sugar Cane Growers Council hall in Lautoka.