15 Mar 2016

Winston costs Fiji sugar industry estimated US$60 million

9:29 am on 15 March 2016

The executive chair of the Fiji Sugar Corporation, Abdul Khan, says the industry as a whole is looking at a loss of about US $60 million, in the aftermath of cyclone Winston.

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Photo: RNZ

He said this takes into account the crop loss, the damage to about 4,000 farmers properties, and the damage to industry infrastructure such as the sugar processing mills.

Mr Khan said their initial focus had been to provide critical assistance, like food, clothing, and safe shelter.

He said the next part of the recovery phase is a crop rehabilitation plan, and they're talking to the government and other agencies about how to achieve this.

"As far as 2016 goes, there is little we can do. We can improve the crop but nowhere near the damage that has been done. But looking forward from 2017 onwards, we want to ensure that we do have a good crop."

Abdul Khan said on Fiji's largest island Viti Levu, their initial estimate is that 50 percent of the sugar crop has been destroyed, though the majority of the sugar crop in Vanua Levu had survived.