CALLS have been made to business organisations to support this year's Sugar Festival.
Officially opening the carnival at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday, Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki urged businesses to support this worthy cause.
He said funds raised from the carnival in past years had transformed the lives of many Fijians through improved living standards.
"I was closely looking at the Sugar Festival annual magazines for advertisements and sponsors and found that only a handful of companies and supporters have come on board to assist this worthy cause," said Cdr Cawaki.
"The large companies and organisations do not support this type of event whereas these are the people who benefit the most from the festival.
"Festivals such as this raise funds and donate to the poor community, hence it is a moral and social obligation for all who are well-off to support this major charitable event. Shops, supermarkets, tailors, hotels and some other groups are the beneficiaries here."
Festival organising committee president Brijesh Chandra echoed similar sentiments and called for more support from the business community.
"Our experience has shown that some people talk about their good earnings in life but when we invite then to volunteer they turn their backs," said Mr Chandra.
Hundreds of people converged on Lautoka on the first day of the carnival on Saturday.