31 Mar 2017

Claim that Penang closing sounds death knell for Rakiraki

From , 4:04 pm on 31 March 2017

As Fiji's politicians debate the merits of shutting down the Penang sugar mill the town the town of Rakiraki is struggling to stay afloat.

The damaged sugar mill at Rakiraki.

The damaged sugar mill at Rakiraki. Photo: RNZ / Juliette Sivertsen

Rakiraki is the centre of the Ra area where cane growing is key.

For generations the Penang mill has been the area's economic lifeline but now the government and the Fiji Sugar Corporation plan to abandon it.

The opposition National Federation Party says it would rebuild the mill if it was to become government next year.

The mill was damaged by Cyclone Winston last year, but the cane growers want it restored and kept in operation.

Pushp Dass, a cane grower who organised a petition to parliament two weeks ago calling for such a move, told Don Wiseman a shut down would be the death knell for Rakiraki.