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Fiji Time: 3:00 AM on Sunday 20 April

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Farmers keep faith

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CLOSE to 300 sugarcane growers in Sigatoka have expressed their confidence in government's efforts to revitalise what was once the backbone of Fiji's economy, says Sugar Cane Growers Council acting chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty.

Mr Chetty is part of a team of sugar industry stakeholders that is touring the Western Division cane belt area, raising awareness about the government's sugar action plan, the introduction of a cane quality payment system and plans to streamline and improve the industry this year.

After consultation with growers from Olosara and Cuvu sectors on Monday, he said growers had been receptive "but they have also raised issues about cane price".

"What they have basically said is that if the cane price increases to between $80-100 per tonne then they will no longer ask for subsidies from the industry or government," he added.

"We have given them assurances that the cane price for the 2012 season will be much better than expected and they have been happy with the news."

In an earlier interview with this newspaper, Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan said he was optimistic that the actual cane price for the 2012 season would be significantly more than $70 per tonne, which is well above the forecast price of $53.55 that was announced in May last year.