25th February 12:04 AM
FSC making cane payments to farmers next week before Diwali
By Naveel Krishant
Thursday 17/10/2019

Fiji Sugar Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Graham Clarke says they will be making cane payment to farmers next week before Diwali as everyone is expecting this.

Clarke says they are currently calculating as to how much FSC will have to pay in terms of the guaranteed cane price of $85 per tonne.

He says the calculations will be based on the current world price for sugar. 

FSC had confirmed in June that they had to fork out over $33 million to make up for the $85 per tonne guaranteed cane price for the 2018 sugarcane season.

The Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had announced in the 2019/2020 National Budget that $30 million has been allocated to subsidise the guaranteed cane price of $85 per tonne in the current financial year.

Meanwhile, the National Federation Party says cane growers need to be paid the final cane payment by the Fiji Sugar Corporation for the 2018 harvesting and crushing season before Diwali that will be celebrated on Sunday October 27.

NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says while the final payment usually paid a few days before its scheduled deadline of 31st October, it was only prudent and logical to process and make the payment by early next week so that growers and their families are able to use the funds to prepare for Diwali prayers and celebrations.

He says they are aware that Government had asked FSC to meet the top-up to ensure the minimum price of $85 per tonne is met for the 2018 season adding, therefore, the onus is on both FSC and Government to fulfil this promise and pay the outstanding amount of $11.48 per tonne in full early next week.

Prasad adds, more importantly, the payment should be free of any deductions for fertilizer, farm loans and other expenses normally associated with the final payment so that growers and their families have enough money for elaborate Diwali celebrations.

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