17 Feb 2009

Fiji looks at dissolving sugar industry stakeholders body

9:41 pm on 17 February 2009

The Fiji interim government says it's looking at dissolving bodies like Fiji Sugar Marketing as a way to free up extra funds for the struggling sugar industry.

In January the Fiji Sugar Corporation announced a loss of more than 5 million US dollars in their half year report ending November 30, 2008.

The Cane Growers Association estimates the recent floods have caused the sugar industry loss of up to 16 million US dollars, and industry bodies are asking the government for greater assistance.

The permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Parmesh Chand, says the government is reviewing the possibility of dissolving bodies such as Fiji Sugar Marketing.

"Fiji sugar marketing is a limited liability company formed by the stake holders in the sugar industry. It's possible it could be dissolved if our review proves that it should be resolved. We feel its role could be absolved by the FSC itself through a unit within the sugar corporation. 18 secs."

Parmesh Chand says the government has also introduced incentives for landownders to continue to renew their leases for the farming of sugar.