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Fiji Time: 2:28 PM on Friday 25 April

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Fertiliser subsidy

Salaseini Moceiwai
Thursday, December 12, 2013

ABOUT 4000 sugarcane farmers can spend their Christmas in style after the Labasa Cane Producers Association announced its funding assistance of $623,775 for fertiliser subsidy.

With such assistance, LCPA will be reimbursing $5 for every bag of fertiliser each farmer purchased with the price of $31.50 a bag this year.

LCPA officials handed over the $623,775 cheque to the FSC at their head office in Naseakula Rd yesterday.

Association executive manager Abinesh Chand said: "This is part of the 2013 Fairtrade Development plan which was approved by the general assembly early this year. This subsidy will be paid to Labasa farmers next week."

"Farmers who supply cane to the Labasa sugar mill were certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation in 2011.

"Fairtrade certification offers farmers a better deal and improved terms of trade which allows them the opportunity to better their lives and plan for their future. Our evaluation indicates a significant improvement in fertilisers used by farmers and resultant improvement in crop when subsidies of this nature are made available."

Mr Chand said the LCPA intended to provide a subsidy from the Fairtrade Premium of $5 per bag of fertiliser purchased by farmers for the 2014 crops.

"LCPA hopes this assistance will help farmers to reduce the cost of their cane production, improve the quality of their crops and also increase it."

Sugar Cane Growers Council senior executive officer Labasa branch Rajend Prasad thanked LCPA for having the insight to help farmers.

FSC will be distributing the funds to the farmers next week.