FIJI WELCOMES END OF SUGAR CANE HARVEST BOYCOTT

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SUVA, Fiji (July 13, 1998 - Radio Australia)---The Fiji Government has welcomed the decision by sugar cane farmers to end their harvest boycott.

Members of the National Farmers Union imposed the boycott six weeks ago, protesting against the Government's refusal to provide cash grants to farmers affected by Fiji's long drought.

The Government has since agreed to provide cash grants -- and has passed legislation to allow the grants to be distributed.

The boycott disrupted the current cane harvest but members of the rival Fiji Cane Growers Association did not join the boycott, and some cane has been harvested.

Fiji's four sugar mills have been closed for the past month. They will now re-open and begin crushing cane as soon as possible.

The drought in Fiji has destroyed more than half the sugar crop, and Fiji will have to import sugar to meet domestic needs for the first time in its history.

 

FIJI MILLS SET TO START SUGAR CRUSHING

SUVA, Fiji (July 14, 1998 - Daily Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---The Lautoka, Rarawai and Penang sugar mills will begin crushing as soon as harvest agreement forms are reviewed, the Chairman of the Sugar Commission of Fiji, Gerald Barrack, said yesterday, the Daily Post reports.

And he called on harvesting gangs who have not submitted their Memorandum of Gang Agreements (MOGA) to deliver them to their sector as soon as possible.

Mr. Barrack's call came after protesting cane farmers lifted a cane harvest boycott over the weekend.

The boycott has crippled cane crushing at Fiji's four sugar mills since late May. But since the boycott was lifted the Labasa mill began crushing yesterday.

"The Fiji Sugar Corporation, Ltd. has advised that the Penang, Rarawai and Lautoka mills will commence crushing as soon as MOGAs have been received and gangs have made arrangements to harvest sufficient cane," Mr. Barrack said.

Title -- 1543 ECONOMY: Fiji mills to start crushing Date -- 14 July 1998 Byline – None Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Daily Post (Fiji), 14/7/98 Copyright -- Daily Post Status – Abridged

This document is for educational and personal use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius: niusedita@pactok.net.au http://www.usp.ac.fj/www/usp/soh/journ/nius/index.html

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