Cane farmers in Vanua Levu whose farms were affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasa will receive a major boost from tomorrow (5th February, 2021) after the Cabinet approved a Crop Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan worth more than $4 million.
The plan will be funded from the Ministry of Sugar Industry’s 2020-2021 approved budget.
Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister and Sugar Industry, Mr Yogesh Karan said under the plan, there will be five main activities which includes the supply of 34,236 bags of Blend C fertilisers, supply of 26, 104 litres of Amine and 26,104 kg of Diuron weedicides, and also the provision of 50 hectares of slashing to assist farmers with slashing damaged crops.
Mr Karan said drainage works for 195,213 metres of in-field drainage and replanting of crops which will be done in two stages are also part of the plan.
“Under the replanting activity, the first stage will begin from next month to October and the second stage will be from August to October 2021. For this activity, the farmers will be required to arrange for their own quality seed cane and provide for other inputs,” Mr Karan said.
Mr Karan added that all damages will be verified first by the Fiji Sugar Corporation and the Sugarcane Growers Council before the assistance is provided to the farmers.
Permanent Secretary Karan, has requested the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure that timely assistance is provided to the cane farmers.
“In the meantime, the FSC team in the West is also carrying out assessments to ascertain the damages caused by TC Ana on the cane farms. Following the assessments, we will then decide on the type of assistance to be provided to the farmers there,” Mr Karan said.
Meanwhile, a total of 3,360 cane farmers with an area of 10,197 hectares cane farms were damaged out of the total 14,210 hectares in Vanua Levu.
The Fijian Government remains resolute in supporting the revitilisation of the Sugar Industry with creative solutions, from technology transfers to debt relief and the provision of more efficient and sustainable equipment.