Sugar industry ‘stood tall’ in pandemic

Fiji Sugar Corporation worker prepares a cart to dump the sugar cane at the Lautoka mill. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive officer Bhan Singh said the sugar industry stood tall during difficult times when other sectors came to almost a standstill during the pandemic.

He expressed this at the official opening of the 2022 crushing season in Lautoka yesterday.

“The sugar industry continued to support our economy by providing employment and financial support from Sigatoka to Rakiraki and in Vanua Levu,” Mr Singh said.

“There has been unwavering support from the Government.

“Our Prime Minister is a staunch supporter of the sugar industry and in one of his remarks mentioned that ‘our sugar industry is here to stay’ and he meant every word.

“Under his leadership, we have seen some excellent policies being implemented to ensure sustainability of the industry.

Mr Singh said one such notable policy to encourage and embrace sugar cane farming was the implementation of the guaranteed sugarcane price of $85 per tonne.

He informed stakeholders that their cohesive approach and the endless support of the Government continued to uphold the sector.

“Our industry is still surviving after numerous challenges such as adverse impacts of climate change — tropical cyclones, flooding, loss of land to other industries, migration and many others.

“Once regarded as the backbone of the country, this industry can certainly bounce back and deliver the needed economic returns to our country.”

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