Less Than 50% Of Available Land In Fiji's Ra Province Used For Sugarcane

Sugar Corporation officer encourages villagers to participate in 'lucrative' industry

By Kalesi Mele

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 18, 2017) – Less than 50 per cent of the 8000 hectares of land registered under the Fiji Sugar Corporation in the Ra province is being used for sugarcane farming.

This was revealed by an FSC field officer during the Nalawa Tikina Council meeting at Nausori village yesterday,

He said investing in sugar farming could be lucrative and encouraged villagers to venture into cane farming.

"We understand that farmers have to cart cane right to Ba but I know many are not discouraged by this," he said, adding this was a sector that had moneymaking potential — whether it be in gangs cutting cane or in the farming process itself.

He said farmers from Ra were expected to deliver 175,000 tonnes of sugarcane to the Rarawai mill this year.

"We are confident that this target can be met as long as everyone helps each other, particularly community members.

"Last year prisoners cutting cane earned $54,000 [US$26,000] within three months.

"A group from Naitasiri had travelled to Vanua Levu for six months to cut cane and was paid $64 000 [US$30,000].

"This is a clear depiction of the easy returns a person or a group can get in the sugar industry."

He added it was crucial to encourage those that had stopped planting sugar cane to reengage in the business.

"More than 50 per cent of the land registered isn't used and that is worrying. This needs to be looked into."

Fiji Times Online.
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