‘Consider plight of growers’

Maro TT Gang 2 cane cutters and growers pose for the camera at one of the farms in their gang during harvesting. Picture: SUPPLIED/FT FILE

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has hit out at Russia and China for contributing to the escalating price of fertiliser, a key component in cane production.

While officiating at the 60th International Sugar Organisation Virtual Council Meeting in Lautoka yesterday, he called on decision makers to consider the plight of canegrowers whose resilience has been tested because of the increasing prices of fertilisers — which was now almost double the pre-COVID-19 pandemic price.

“Russia’s senseless and bloody invasion of Ukraine is spurring the largest commodity shock since the 1970s –– throwing fuel on the fire of an input-price crisis that is made worse by sanctions on Belarus and the export restrictions imposed by China, the largest exporter of di-ammonium phosphate fertiliser,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“Farmers aren’t only paying more for their inputs –– they live under the spectre of a single climate disaster erasing entire acreages overnight. Every year, these risks will rise.

“For this among countless other reasons, Fiji is consistently resolute in calling for climate action.”

Mr Bainimarama also called on decision makers to defend the interests of growers by cutting the carbon emissions that were responsible for the storms, rising seas, and changing weather patterns that threatened the livelihoods of every farmer on Earth –– canegrowers included.

During the forum, he also said Fiji has welcomed more than 205,000 visitors since the reopening of borders in December.

“Virtually our entire adult population is fully vaccinated and more are being boosted every day. “We are fully open to travel and have welcomed over 205,000 visitors since December.

“In short, Fiji is open for business and I hope you all know how welcome you are to visit our islands.”

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