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Fiji Time: 12:09 AM on Tuesday 22 April

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Incentive for new farmers

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, February 27, 2014

NEW growers interested in cane farming will be given one hectare to gauge their productivity and commitment to the sugarcane sector.

This was the word from the CEO of the Sugar Cane Growers Council, Sundresh Chetty. "Beginners or start-up sugarcane farmers will be given one hectare of land and field officers from the Fiji Sugar Corporation will monitor their progress to gauge their productivity and viability," he said.

"Under this scheme, new growers will be given a lot of assistance but they will also be required to show their own initiative as well."

Mr Chetty added cane growers interested in applying for a grant under the government's $8.4million announced in the national budget needed to ensure their leases were updated.

"Growers that have leases expiring within the next three years need to get a letter from the Lands Department that their lease will be renewed.

"The Lands Department has generously agreed to renew leases and growers should visit their respective field officers to get assistance in this regard."

The FSC has announced a forecast harvest of 1.8 million tonnes this season. Industry stakeholders challenged farmers to increase this to 2million tonnes at grower consultations in the Western Division this week.