Proposed stabilisation fund to improve cane price certainty

The opening of crushing at the Lautoka Mill. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI’S Minister for Waterways Dr Mahendra Reddy has confirmed that the Government will establish a Sugar Cane Stabilization Fund in partnership with the Fiji Sugar Corporation to improve cane price certainty, with a base price of $85 a tonne of cane agreed in principle.

Dr Reddy made the comments while officially opening the 2018 crushing season at the FSC’s Lautoka Mill yesterday.

He said this initiative would help strengthen grower confidence and provide price certainty for farmers.

“We have seen that working side by side with our sugarcane farmers, and with FSC, has put the industry on a path towards a resilient future – a future where sugar remains the bedrock of our economic growth and prosperity,” Dr Reddy said.

He said innovations for Fiji’s sugar industry included the upcoming trial of mechanical harvesting along hilly terrain through the use of specially-adapted tractor harvesters.

“FSC has also recently added 20 water tanker units to this fleet for dry season irrigation, another significant intervention to boost farming productivity. These mechanical investments are all part of the strategic objective to turn cane farming towards a viable future.”

And with plans underway to turn Lautoka into a world-class sugar distribution centre amid increasing demands for quality sugar, he said the FSC was ensuring that sugar produced was handled in a quality-conscious manner, alongside further innovations to its largest mill.

FSC has secured a contract to supply 4000 tonnes of sugar to China by September later this year.

Lautoka Mill is the largest in the country and is expected to crush 485,000 tonnes of cane with a forecast tones cane per tones sugar (TCTS) of 8.5 for 2018.

This supply will include sugarcane from Ba and Rakiraki.

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