The Fijian government will pay sugarcane farmers deductibles worth an estimated $10million (US$5 million).
In a major announcement today, Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed – Khaiyum has revealed this will enable the fourth cane payment this week to be paid out in its entirety.
“Government has also noticed that out of this $14.57 million (US$6.9 million) that is to be paid, nearly $6.7million (US$3.1 million) of this would be deducted from individual cane farmers for various respective payments that they have to make. Given the fact that many of these cane farmers have suffered because of Cyclone Winston, government has decided and working together with FSC that government will pick up the payment of these deductions for these cane farmers which totals to the amount of $6.7m so none of the cane farmers will have any deductions made from the 4th cane payment.”
These deductibles include land lease payments, fertilizer payments and loans taken because of Tropical Cyclone Winston – all now be covered by government coffers.
Sayed-Khaiyum says this is because of the significant restructure that is on-going within the sector and in particular the devastating effects of TC Winston last year.
The Acting PM has also announced more than 3900 farmers who took loans up to $1,000 (US$500) from the Sugar Cane Growers Fund will also be exempt from repayments.
The Government is expected to pick up this tab of $3.24 million (US$1.53 million) for affected farmers in Lautoka, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki.
SOURCE FBC NEWS/PACNEWS [/restrict]