THE Government has decided to create a dedicated Ministry of Sugar to be based in Lautoka, as part of its efforts to revitalise the sugar industry.
Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the Government had made a decision as part of its continuing commitment to reform and revitalise the industry.
In a Ministry of Information statement, Commodore Bainimarama also confirmed that Manasa Vaniqi would be the Sugar Ministry's permanent secretary.
"His (Mr Vaniqi) role and responsibilities have been re-organised to enable him to primarily focus on the sugar industry," he said.
Mr Vaniqi will be responsible for co-ordinating closely with all stakeholders in the sugar industry, oversee the reforms in the Fiji Sugar Corporation and delve deeper into reforms at farm level.
This involves increasing production and improving harvesting and transportation practices.
Commodore Bainimarama said: "As I have emphasised before, the sugar industry is here to stay and we will do everything within our means to reform it in an effort to make it viable for all stakeholders," he said.
Commodore Bainimarama issued an assurance that the office of the Commissioner Northern would also be revamped so that the sugar industry in Vanua Levu was equally manned and assisted.