The Sugar Minister has revealed a number of strategies to rehabilitate the ailing sector.
Minister Charan Jeath Singh says 200,000 people rely on this industry, and there is a need to get the Fiji Sugar Corporation and the industry back on its feet.
Singh says one of the many strategies to revive the sugar industry is to increase sugar production.
“We would like to bring the production of sugar up. Last year they basically harvested or produced 1.6 million tonnes of cane, this year the prediction is they will increase the production to 1.8 and next year we will be looking at about 2 million tonnes. So we want to carry the two hundred thousand tonnes per year until we reach about three million tonnes.”
Singh says that they are also considering providing incentives to the farmers in order to accomplish this.
“There is talk that we can also consider, this we will take to the cabinet and consider for approval in parliament that every farmer example if a farmer is currently producing 500 tonnes of cane and if he increases his tonnage to 700 tonnes the following year, we would like to give some bonus, additional bonus not to be added to $85 but something on the side. “
Singh says they will also need to look at other markets where sugar can be sold at a better price, as currently the majority of the sugar is being sold to the European Union.
He adds that they are also looking at reducing operating expenses.