As people get ready for the 2019-2020 National Budget, millions of dollars will have to be sourced to make up for the $85 guaranteed price for cane payments to be made to farmers as world sugar price continues to experience extreme volatility and has dropped by nearly 20 percent.
The Fiji Sugar Corporation confirms that they had to fork out over $33 million to make up for the $85 guaranteed price for the 2018 sugarcane season.
So far the FSC has paid out per tonne price of $73.52 against a forecast price of $53.69 per tonne. This means that the FSC has paid out an extra $19.92 per tonne of cane.
The Government has established a guaranteed price of $85 per tonne and the FSC will make a final wash‑out payment to reach this amount.
We have asked how the FSC is managing to keep up with the payment as millions of dollars are needed to meet the guaranteed price.
The FSC says funding will come in from the sale of some of FSC’s non‑productive assets. They will also issue a media release on details of the sale of the unproductive assets when the sale of all these non‑productive assets is completed.
It was announced in the 2018/2019 National Budget that the government will be setting up a stabilisation price, funded in partnership with the FSC of $85 per tonne for all cane payments for the next three years.
The FSC says it is responsible for the guaranteed price for 2018 crop while the government will be responsible for the 2019 and 2020 crop.
Meanwhile $62.3 million was set aside for the Ministry of Sugar Industry in the 2018-2019 National Budget.
The 2019-2020 National Budget will be delivered by Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at 7.30pm this Friday.