Sugar projects under scrutiny

PROJECTS funded by the European Union and implemented by various organisations in cane belt areas that had fallen behind schedule were discussed at a meeting in Lautoka yesterday.

The EU has invested about $130 million in 11 projects designed to improve the livelihoods of those involved in the sugarcane industry under a program established to mitigate the expected fallout when preferential market access to the EU ends in October next year.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said there were several critical issues that needed to be discussed in relation to the projects that fell under the EU’s Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP).

“There is a need to press on with some of the projects that are behind time,” he said.

“Overall, the objective of this meeting would be to see in a very honest manner where are the gaps and what we do need to do to fill those gaps.”

EU Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs said yesterday’s forum was an important opportunity to take stock of the progress of various projects.

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