Reliance on sugar ‘not what it was years ago’

Pradeep Lal (left) with PS for Sugar Yogesh Karan and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during a break at the 60th ISO Council session meeting at Tanoa Waterfront in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The Fijian economy’s reliance on sugar is not what it was 30 or 40 years ago.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said this when he officiated the opening of the 60th International Sugar Organisation (ISO) Council Meeting at Lautoka’s Tanoa Waterfront Hotel.

“That is a natural progression as cane growing has given way to other growing sectors of our diversifying economy,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“But through that transition, our commitment to the farmers behind this industry has never wavered, nor will it ever – in fact, in terms of raw support, our commitment to the success of our growers has never been worth more.

“Because of that support, we remain a proud and productive cane-growing country that is wholly committed to our place in a sustainable world sugar economy.”

He said Fiji was proud to assume the chairmanship role of this 60th ISO Council Meeting and host this mid-year virtual workshop.

He also noted the ISO was the convening entity for sugar-producing countries and a platform for discussion, a safety net for those most vulnerable, and a research body at the cutting edge of solutions.

Local industry stakeholders converged in Lautoka to be part of the two-day event.

The theme for this year’s workshop is “Resilience – a way for a sustainable sugar industry”.

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