Renewed focus for sugar industry

January 8, 2024 6:18 am

The Sugar Ministry is entering the New Year with a renewed focus on revitalizing the sugar industry, with plans to increase cane production, attract young farmers, and diversify revenue streams.

Minister Charan Jeath Singh outlined ambitious goals for the industry, emphasizing the need to bring back farmers to the land and make sugar cane cultivation viable again.

Singh says they have implemented various initiatives to make sugar cane farming more attractive.

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“We will assist any farmer who wants to come on the farm. If they have got an approval letter from TLTB or the land department that there is a new lease letter given to them to come on the farm, we will provide them 30% of the premium that has been charged by TLTB or the lands department or 7500 to support the new farmers.”

Singh acknowledged the industry’s current struggles, highlighting a decline in cane production from 4.2 million tonnes to a current level of around 1.6 million tonnes.

“Our priority would be to be seen that we increase the production of sugar cane from, as I said, from 1.6 million tons to 3.5 million tons in the coming years. And my priority is to see that we reestablish or rebuild the Rakiraki sugar mill.”

Singh says by focusing on both production and diversification they aim to revitalize the sugar sector and secure its long-term sustainability.