Cyclones have cost the sugar industry more than $200m in damages since 2016.
This is according to the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama who says that particularly the brutal cyclone seasons in 2016 and 2020 saw cane production capacity declined by one-third.
The Minister for the Sugar Industry also says that this was mainly due to crop losses and damage sustained to mills and other infrastructure.
“Aside from spending millions on rehabilitating and building the resilience of the industry, the Fijian Government heavily subsidises input costs like fertiliser, invests heavily in industry-related research, including resilient crop production, provides grants and subsidies, and funds capital programs aimed at increasing sugarcane planting and production, improving and increasing the rate of mechanization.”
While also addressing the International Sugar Organization workshop this morning, Bainimarama told those present and participants tuning in through virtually that Fiji is consistently resolute in calling for climate action.
He says as leaders who represent cane growers, he demanded they defend their interests by cutting the carbon emissions that they are responsible for storms, rising seas, and changing weather patterns that threaten the livelihoods of farmers.