PRIME Minister and Minister for Sugar Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama says the government has been working to finalise a Sugar Industry Decree that will revolutionise the sugarcane transport system in Fiji.
Speaking at the opening of the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council office in Lautoka yesterday, Rear Admiral Bainimarama said the new decree would help solve transport issues faced by sugarcane farmers.
"Any sugarcane farmer will tell you that the current transport system is too expensive, too slow and too unreliable," he said.
"For some farmers, cane transport or cartage makes up 50 per cent of their total costs.
"There are instances when farmers have been held at ransom by those who demand more than the agreed price for cartage and there are also instances when farmers have suffered because transport does not show up on time."
He said under the new decree, all this would change.
"The Fiji Sugar Corporation will assume management of all harvesting and transport.
"This will give FSC direct control, greatly improving reliability and efficiency."
Rear Admiral Bainimarama said the announcement marked a major revamp of the sugar cane Industry, which the state had been working on for a while.
* More sugar stories - Pages 34 and 35