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2018 favourable year

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

SUGAR Ministry permanent secretary Yogesh Karan said discussions held with interested parties during the International Sugar Organisation's 52nd council meeting in London were positive.

Speaking to The Fiji Times on the eve of his return, he said because of the commodities market, the success of discussions would be realised in time.

"There are buyers out there keen to purchase Fiji's sugar and we are hopeful that the discussions are good for Fiji," he said.

Mr Karan said he was optimistic that 2018 would be a better year for the local sugarcane industry.

"We have had a good supply of rain recently - and it has come at a very opportune time because many farmers had just planted cane.

"In terms of Government's $6 million fertiliser subsidy, we have been reliably informed that the uptake by farmers has doubled, so we are expecting good production next season.

"Our fingers are crossed that weather conditions will remain conducive to good cane production and this, combined with the initiatives from Government will pave the way for a better season in 2018."

Cane production figures for 2017 were revised down to 1.6 million tonnes from an earlier estimate of 2.1 million at the start of the season.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation said the downward revision was because of the impact of a prolonged dry weather spell this year.

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