FIJI SUGAR GROWERS URGE DELAY OF RESTRUCTURING

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Mar. 25) - The Sugar Cane Growers Council of Fiji says the government should heed the Asian Development Bank’s recommendation to delay the restructuring of the nation’s sugar industry.

Council Chief Executive, Jaganath Sami, says the council agrees with an ADB report, which said that the restructuring plan was incomplete and needed further work.

Sami said plans to reform the industry from the 1st April should be put on hold.

"I think the government needs to be more cautious in this now that the ADB has given a very clear report as to the pros and the cons of rushing this restructure plan," he said.

Sami said the cane farmers are the major stakeholders in the industry and what happens to them if they are displaced by the restructuring hasn’t been properly thought through.

He also said he would like to see independent people appointed to review the crushing operation this season to find out why the industry is taking losses.

March 26, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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