Sugar Stakeholders Workshop Held In Fiji By SPC

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

Secretariat of the Pacific Community Suva, Fiji

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Various stakeholders within the sugar industry, including policy makers, representatives of the private sector and farmer organisations were brought together in a one-day workshop to learn more about the European Union-funded Improvement of Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA) project. The meeting was held at Tanoa waterfront Hotel in Lautoka earlier this month.

While opening the workshop, Sairusi Bulai, standing in for the director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Land Resources Division said that IKSA project has enabled SPC to work directly with Fiji’s sugar industry for the first time and hopes that lessons learnt and experiences gained will also be useful in SPC’s work in other member countries.

‘We consider this to be an honour and also a great responsibility and we would like to thank the Fiji Government and other relevant parties for their partnership and close cooperation.’

Bulai added, ‘We all share common goals to achieve sustainable economic development in the Fiji agriculture sector, and we hope that this workshop will deepen and enhance our operational integration, as well as our partnership and relationships with all relevant stakeholders, working together to add value and maximise the welfare of the sugarcane farmers and their communities that live in the sugar cane belts.’

Being directly related to the sugar industry, IKSA opened its project office in the sugar city to ensure close proximity to its stakeholders. This office will soon be implementing a second EU-funded project named Implementation of Micro-projects (IMP), whose contribution agreement was signed at the office launch in October. A third EU-funded project will focus on reforestation to address soil erosion on sloping land in the sugar cane belt.

‘These projects contribute towards SPC’s key development outcomes on sustainable economic development, sustainable human and social development and sustainable natural resources and environmental development and management.’

‘This is in line with SPC’s mission to help Pacific Island people position themselves to respond effectively to the challenges they face and make informed decisions about their future and the future they wish to leave for the generations that follow,’ Bulai said.

Mr Bulai also stressed that none of this could be achieved without the support of the European Union and thanked them for their faith in SPC as an implementing agency and for their generous support, not only to Fiji but to the Pacific region as a whole.

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