In Agriculture, News

In an international show of confidence in the Fijian Government’s sugarcane industry reforms, the Indian Government today presented Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Voreqe Bainimarama a grant for nearly FJD2.2 million to be earmarked for the purchase of new cane farming machines and equipment.

The Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Mr. Vishvas Sapkal, presented Hon. Prime Minister with a cheque for FJD2,172,576.35 at the Office of the Prime Minister in Suva.

Prime Minister Bainimarama, in thanking the Indian Government for the grant, said it was reflective of the strong relations shared between the two countries, and of India’s confidence in the Fijian Government’s reforms and the overall direction of Fiji’s sugarcane industry.

“All the machines that Fiji purchases through this grant will help our cane farmers become more efficient, and in effect, better adapt to both a changing economy and climate,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said. “This grant is about more than just machinery, and more than just dollars and cents. It is a sign that the reform programme that we are carrying out within the Fijian sugarcane industry is attracting support from the international community, and that it is worth investing in. The future is bright for Fiji’s sugarcane industry, and this grant is proof.”

“I also want to thank the Government of India, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for their enduring support, and for the friendship that India continues to share with Fiji,” he added. 

High Commissioner Sapkal said India would continue to assist Fiji in development cooperation.

“Fiji and India have special relations and we share a close bond. We are partners in a development process, and we give a lot of importance for agriculture sector cooperation,” High Commissioner Sapkal said.

He added a team from India was also working with sugar stakeholders here to “provide all possible support in the rail network development”.

Ministry of Sugar Permanent Secretary, Yogesh Karan said the assistance would go a long way in boosting cane production through mechanisation of the sugar industry.

“We already have Mahindra tractors available here and we will purchase more Indian products with this grant,” said Permanent Secretary Karan. “The Fiji Sugar Corporation will also decide on what other machinery is needed. We will make these purchases quickly because we want to capitalise on the current planting season.”

The machines will be distributed for use in the cane belt areas in the Western and Northern divisions.


[Information sourced from here]
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