Growers told of subsidies

SUGARCANE farmers have been urged to take advantage of Government subsidies and assistance programs that are available.

Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO Sundresh Chetty said apart from the $15.4 million cane development fund and $6.3m weedicide subsidy, other aid programs were available to assist farmers.

“There are subsidies available for clearing of in-field drains which is looked after by the Waterways Ministry,” he said.

“Assistance is also coming for the purchase of tractors by co-operatives and there are programs for assisting in the purchase of farming implements by sugarcane growers.”

Mr Chetty said his office has been inundated with requests for weedicides over the past few days.

“My staff have been working non-stop since January 2 and we are really pleased with the uptake by canegrowers.

“The present weather conditions are very conducive to weed growth.”

“There is a lot of sunshine interspersed with periods of rainfall and the uptake of weedicides by farmers through the Government subsidy means growers are taking weed control very seriously.”

He said if left unchecked, weeds could take a huge toll on cane production.

“Weeds affect production quite significantly and a farm that has weeds will produce lower yield than one that is well kept.

“Another issue with weeds is that fertiliser applied to cane also becomes food for weeds.”

Under Government’s weedicide subsidy, farmers only pay 45 per cent of the cost of weed control agents.

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