Million dollar subsidy for sugar industry

April 19, 2016 6:39 pm

Five thousand one hundred sugar cane growers from the Western Division will benefit from the Lautoka Cane Producers Association’s 2016 Fairtrade premium plan.

One point five million dollars has been set aside by the Lautoka Cane Producers Association for this year’s community development and farm assistance programs which was collected from the premiums on sale of sugar by the Tate and Lyle Company.

Association President Praveen Singh says low-income farmers from Sigatoka, Nadi and Lautoka, who are association members, are taking advantage of the premium plans since 2013.

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“For example, at the moment the fertilizer price is $31.50. What our association is doing is that they are giving $4 subsidy per bag so a member will just have to pay $27.50 from his pocket. The balance will be paid by the Association.”

Singh says the Association receives sixty dollars per tonne of sugar each time they export sugar overseas.

Introduced in 2010, the Fairtrade premium plan has benefitted a number of sugar cane farmers in Fiji.