The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Sugar, Yogesh Karan has revealed that some grants directed towards the Sugar Industry have not been properly used and this has resulted in reduction of allocations for certain programs.
The Sugarcane Development Farmers Assistance for cane planting was allocated $15.4 million in the 2018‑2019 National Budget and this has been reduced to $4 million in the 2019‑2020 National Budget.
Similarly there has been a reduction of $3 million for Cane Access Roads program while allocation for New Farmers Assistance program has dropped from $2 million to $500,000.
While speaking to FijiVillage Karan says they have spent around $50 million in the last three years for the Sugarcane Development Farmers Assistance for cane planting and land is now available and ready and they want cane farmers to look after the land.
Karan reveals that some cane farmers have not used the grant as it should have been.
He says this is why they will continue to help farmers with fertilizers and cane farmers will be required to properly look after their farms.
When questioned on the reduction in allocation for Cane Access Roads program Karan says they have spent close to $19 million in the last three years and some funds have not been properly used.
He says they direct the grant to the Fiji Sugar Corporation and have heard that this is not done in the right way and work is not carried out as expected.
Karan says they will now ensure that there is more accountability when the grant is given to FSC.
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