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Government says $5m for sugar development sufficient

November 18, 2015 6:24 pm

Opposition MP Biman Prasad’s motion to increase the budgetary allocation from $5 million to $10 million for sugar development was defeated in Parliament last night.

Acting Sugar Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says sugar development is very important and the government will continue to assist farmers – with the sufficient assistance in 2016 of $5 million.

Sayed-Khaiyum also revealed that of the $5 million allocated this year for the Sugar sector, $3.9m has been utilized to date with the remainder expected to be used by the end of 2015.

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“Government assists farmers directly with the ploughs and fallow land as well as giving them necessary agri inputs. These are farmers that are identified that can actually have the capacity to actually be able to take on this additional supplement given to them. The five million dollars will continue. Off course as time changes. I also agree with Opposition MP Isoa Tikoca on Irrigation but it won’t only be based on sugar but other agriculture sectors as well.”

He adds that the European Union has also directly donated $2.3 million for sustainable rural livelihoods to look at other support systems for farmers such as crop diversification and value adding.

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