THE European Union has foreseen a further 1million euro ($F2.47m) would be directed to the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji as it continues to assist in research aspects of the sugar industry.
EU ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs confirmed this at the opening of the $1.3m SRIF facility in Lautoka yesterday.
Mr Jacobs highlighted the additional fund would go towards assisting SRIF continue its research work on the development of new sugar cane varieties more resistant to diseases, droughts and floods and with higher yield in sugar and potential for co-generation.
He emphasised the need for improved land management practices through rehabilitating crop and pasture land, developing agro-forestry models and developing and disseminating sustainable agricultural technologies and land use systems.
"Part of the response lies in agricultural research for development," Mr Jacobs said.
"The EU is ready to take up the challenge of agricultural development and has placed agriculture as one of the priorities in its new agenda for change.
"Our contribution to agriculture and in particular agricultural research in developing countries, will significantly increase in the near future. This is what we have started to do in Fiji with the first contribution to the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji.
"This is part of an overall funding of some 1.3m Euro ($F3.2m) as a first EU grant to the institute that was contracted in 2006.
"This has been developed in consultation with sugar industry stakeholders and is in line with the National Adaptation Strategy, developed in 2006."
By the end of 2013, EU direct support to research in the sugar sector will amount to 3.3m Euro ($F8.14m).