Singh sweetens deal

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Sugar Ministry permanent secretary Yogesh Karan (left) with Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh during a break at the Stakeholders Interactive Workshop at Tanoa Waterfront in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh says he will introduce incentives for high-producing farmers and those who deliver green cane to the mills.

Speaking to industry stakeholders in Lautoka this week, he also said investments into the immediate repair and improvement of rail system was a priority.

Mr Singh said growers could also look forward to the provision of additional cage bins to cart billeted cane.

“Transportation is an ongoing issue and costs tend to gradually rise every year,” the minister said.

“For many years, the rail transportation system has been testified as the cheapest mode of harvested cane transportation to the mills.

“Under my leadership as Minister of Sugar Industry, I will also ensure the introduction of incentivising and awarding high producing growers, emphasising and encouraging integrated farming to support income generation for growers and harnessing collaboration with government agencies as well as donors to provide assistance to the sugar industry,” Mr Singh said.

To discourage burning of cane and ensure fresh cane-supply to mills, he said, farmers supplying green cane would be rewarded through certain incentives which the ministry was working on with all stakeholders.

The minister noted the importance of introducing new and advanced machinery into the industry to assist in all areas of cane production.

He said funding for existing capital programs targeting increased cane production, would be continued by the Government.

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