9 Apr 2008

Fiji sugar cane growers election put off

1:10 pm on 9 April 2008

Fiji's Sugar Cane Growers Council election has been deferred to April 2010.

The interim Government says the move is to cater for the completion of the industry reforms currently underway.

The decision was made by Cabinet, based on a submission by the interim Sugar Minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

Mr Chaudhry says both organisations that have membership of the council, the National Farmers Union and the Fiji Canegrowers Association, have agreed elections should not disrupt the reform process.

"They have recommended that elections be deferred until this crucial process is completed. It's very important that we restructure our industry and the sugar industry is a major role to play in Fiji's economy. And it has the support of the industry stakeholders."

Mahendra Chaudhry says elections were due in April 2007, but were deferred for twelve months because of Fiji's political turmoil.