THE sugar industry is crucial for people in the Northern Division and its important they consider it very seriously.
These were the words of one of the division's most eminent businessman, Charan Jeath Singh, while officiating at the opening of the Labasa FSC mill yesterday.
Mr Singh said a lot of people in the North depended entirely on the industry for their livelihoods, thus a collaborative effort from the community was essential.
"The industry not only needs the support from the sugar stakeholders, government and other authorities responsible but also the members of the public," he said.
"The other mills in the country are situated in places where industries such as tourism and manufacturing thrive but for Labasa, it's mainly the sugar industry.
"I believe a lot of farmers in the North are putting food on the table and paying for household expenses from the income they earn from cane farming.
"That's why it's very important for us to take the industry very seriously."
Mr Singh said the industry should operate like a business.
"From a commercial point of view, the mill has to run like a business."