EU-funded $30m road project to be completed this year

Update: 3:48PM THE $30million European Union (EU)-funded Rural Access Roads and Associated Infrastructure (RARAI) is scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of this year.

The RARAI project, which was scheduled to be completed in December 2018, has used up 86 per cent of its budget.

The project is a four-year program that began in January 2015 where the Pacific Community (SPC) was contracted to implement the project by the EU. 

The $30m funding by the EU was to be utilised to upgrade 200kilometres of cane access roads in Malolo, Drasa and Koronubu sectors in the Western Division. 

In addition to the EU funding, the Fijian Government had committed a $6m allocation in its annual budget to improve cane access roads.

Government also stepped in to ensure the construction of Irish crossings in Drasa and Koronubu sector after savings were realised within the budget. 

The Government was also able to realign funding from the REFOREST project to upgrade 35km of cane access roads in Bulivou Sector in Labasa.

The upgrade of roads and Irish crossings will ensure a reduction in standover cane and farmers are able to efficiently deliver cane to the mills while the mills are still crushing.