30 Apr 2007

Fiji cane growers want fresh sugar talks with EU

2:02 pm on 30 April 2007

The Cane Growers Association in Fiji wants further negotiations with the European Union over its future assistance for the sugar industry.

The Association's general secretary, Bala Dass, is making the call as a major sugar meeting involving the the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, or ACP, gets under way in Nadi.

The ACP countries are expecting to hear from the European Union as to how it will continue to assist them in their sugar industries, given that it will end its system of preferential pricing for ACP sugar in 2009.

Mr Dass says 200,000 people in Fiji rely on the industry to provide them with an income so they need assistance.

"If possible, that the preferential price can continue for another 2 or 3 years, that is number one priority. And, no. 2 is that ACP should put pressure on the interim administration to meet the demands of the European Union like we should have elections in 24 months so that that aid can continue to come to Fiji."

The general secretary of the Cane Growers Association, Bala Dass.