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Maintain reforms

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SUGAR industry stakeholders want to see continuity of reforms put in place by the current administration once the elections process is completed and a democratically elected government is sworn in.

Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan and Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive Sundresh Chetty said the support by the government in the face of the imminent collapse of an industry that affected the livelihoods of about 200,000 people was immeasurable.

"In my opinion, the mandate given to us by government to improve the industry has been converted into strategies whereby we have seen significant improvement in the industry," said Mr Khan.

"With government assistance via planting grants, fertilizer subsidies and FSC estate and partnership developments, we are starting to see the real impact of better quality sugarcane being available in the last two years.

"As far as the harvesting and delivery goes, we have started the mammoth task of revitalizing the rail system and have introduced harvesters.

"We have started to change our planting pattern to better suit mechanical harvesters.

"We will also start contouring the land to again suit mechanisation from planting through to harvesting.

"In regards to the improvements in the various mills, we have made significant gains and that is reflected in the sugar recovery rates and TCTS.

"Personally, I believe, the present policy of the government has been very accommodating to ensure that our strategies work well. I would like this to continue after the election."

Mr Chetty added continuity would enable the reforms put in place by industry stakeholders to be completed.

"We have already seen the benefits of the strategic action plan that we all helped formulate," he said.

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