18 Oct 2017

Fiji's NFP says Diwali will be bleak for cane growers

2:44 pm on 18 October 2017

The leader of Fiji's National Federation Party says the sugar cane industry is on the verge of collapse after farmers were left out of pocket in the final cane payment for 2016.

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Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet

Biman Prasad blames the poor pay on hiked deductions made by the Fiji Sugar Corporation to pay for commodities and loans.

The opposition party leader said these deductions were so high that they had left farmers with barely any income to live off.

Professor Prasad said one grower who harvested 236 tonnes of sugarcane for the period, has only 82 cents left from his $US734 (or FJ$1500) payment.

He said it raised serious questions about transparency and he questioned whether any consultations took place.

"What we have got for the farmers is shocking. It's just like 70 percent of over 9,000 cane growers basically have received nothing after their payment."

Professor Prasad said the sugar cane farmers will have a bleak Diwali.

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