Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has reassured sugarcane farmers in Sigatoka and Nadi that Government would continue to pump in a lot of assistance in the sugar industry.
His tour of the Western Division started yesterday from Sigatoka and Nadi. It is expected to end in Rakiraki tomorrow.
The Sai Centre in Sigatoka and Nadi Civic Centre were packed to capacity with sugarcane farmers and other people presenting their issues before the nation’s leader.
Mr Bainimarama said the Government would continue to assist the more than 20,000 Fijians who have passion to revitalise the sugar industry.
The sugar sector, he said was once the backbone of Fiji’s economy. To uplift it Government had put in place the Committee for Better Utilisation of Land (CBUL) programme.
The initiative, Mr Bainimarama said was to assist farmers in the renewal of their agricultural leases at the same time provide incentives to landowners.
On Tuesday, Government released a payment of $3.72 as CBUL payment to the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) to distribute to a total of 1479 land owning-units. It benefited a total of 138,899 individual land-owning unit members.
Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive Sundresh Chetty thanked the Prime Minister for coming to the Western Division to hear the grievances of sugarcane farmers who turned out in big numbers.
“This consultation will continue till Friday and we are expecting more growers to join us in Nadi, Lautoka and other centres,’’ Mr Chetty said.
He said there were around 30,000 active sugarcane farmers which included eight cane growing districts starting from Sigatoka to Rakiraki and two in Labasa.