FSC seeks solutions through joint ventures

March 13, 2024 4:25 pm

[File Photo]

Minister for Sugar Charan Jeath Singh has today unveiled plans to address the Fiji Sugar Corporation’s financial woes through joint venture partnerships.

While responding to President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s speech, Singh acknowledged the corporation’s struggle to emerge from a substantial debt exceeding $400 million, accumulated over the past sixteen years.

To address this challenge, he says the Ministry is exploring potential business models through discussions with the Fiji National Provident Fund and Fijian Holdings Limited.

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“We need to find a workable solution to generate income for the company. To address the FSC financial constraints, we are looking for joint venture schemes. We will soon get into discussions with the FNPF and Fijian Holdings Limited for possible business models whereby the investors and FSC will partner to develop properties for various purposes, such as hospitality, medical, retirement, and light commercial sectors.”

Singh emphasized the government’s commitment to the sugar industry, aiming to modernize and revitalize the sector.

“Soon, I will be getting experts from India to assess the three mills. These experts will provide a report at no cost, including professional fees. Upon the completion of the assessment, we will get an idea of our short-term solution for the three existing mills. The experts will also provide a report on Penang Mill on whether a new mill with full capacity is needed or we could build a mill only for juice extraction.”

The Minister states that they are also looking at setting up a refinery to refine raw sugar and sell it at a premium price.

He says this will not only increase FSC’s income but farmers’ as well.