> Ministry of Sugar Industry

Signing of Grant Agreement for TC Yasa Loan [16th June, 2022]

Published on: June 16, 2022

Government has injected more than $452 million since 2016 into sugar industry through various grants and subsidies with the objective to reduce production costs to boost our cane productions.

Despite such huge injection by the government into the sugar Industry, we could not achieve the target of 2 million tons of sugarcane. The challenges that our sugar industry faces including climate change – being the major contributing factor for not achieving the desired result.

Due to climate change, now the floods are more intense, droughts are longer, and storms have been stronger and more frequent than ever. Since 2016, we have experience total of seven (7) cyclones namely TC Winston, TC Josie and Keni, TC Harold, TC Ana, TC Yasa and last one being TC Cody.

These cyclones have affected 56,313 hectares of sugarcane farms, causing crop loss of more than 3.3 million tons of cane that has an estimated value of more than $106 million.

TC Yasa (category 5 cyclone), alone had caused massive damage to the cane production where the production in the Northern Division has declined from approximately 672,000 tons 2020 to 362,000 in 2021 – a decline of  around 310,000 tons or by 46% reduction.

Not only sugarcane crop, but also cane access roads and milling infrastructure were severely damaged. Intense rainfall caused waterlogging, reduced soil fertility and ultimately reduced cane productivity. These challenges are beyond our control. 

To assist the farmers who have been affected by TC Yasa, Ministry of Sugar Industry has provided total of $6.1 million grant to undertake rehabilitation works. Through this funds:

  1. Total of 255 hectares of cane were replanted;
  1. Debris from 9,548 hectares of farms were removed;
  1.  More than 724,065 meters of drainage works were undertaken; and
  1. 34,234 bags of fertilizer, 26,104 kg of Diuron and 26,104 litres of amine were provided to affected farmers at no cost.

In addition to the assistance provided by government, Sugar Cane Growers Fund developed an easy and affordable finance facility specifically for Rehabilitation works associated with TC Yasa under two broad categories namely (i) Priority loan and (ii) specialized loan.

Priority loans were provided to those growers who required minimum amount while specialized loan were offered to those grower who had major damage to the dwelling.This finance facilities provided instant relief to growers who were affected by TC Yasa.

Sugar Cane Growers Funds facilitated loans to around 600 growers for TC Yasa rehabilitation works. A very small fraction of the growers who capitalized on these facilities have fully met their loan obligations. While the greater fraction of growers are still finding difficulty in meeting the repayment to the Sugar Cane Growers Fund.

Considering that these farmers will receive marginal to zero cane payment after deductions, the government decided to meet the debt obligations and associated interest of these farmers by allocating total of $550,000 in the 2021-2022 Revised budget.

The signing of the grant agreement between Ministry and Sugar Cane Growers Funds is testimony that government will pay the outstanding debts on behalf of the farmers in the Northern Division who took specialized loan for TC Yasa from Sugar Cane Growers Fund. It also reaffirms that, those who have fully paid the debt, will be reimbursed by government through Sugar Cane Growers Fund.  

“I take this opportunity to thank Permanent Secretary for Sugar and the team, Hon Minister for Economy, Permanent Secretary for Economy and Head of Budget for considering our request”, said Mr. Sharma, CEO SCGF.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create a modern, economically viable and sustainable sugar industry in Fiji.

Our Mission

To ensure the successful implementation of sugar cane reforms and ensure timely, effective and efficient delivery of services to relevant stakeholders for a viable sugarcane industry.