Fiji’s Sugar industry is here to stay and Government remains committed towards ensuring that the industry will remain a sustainable form of revenue.
The Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary, Mr Manasa Vaniqi highlighted this during his presentation at the 43rdCouncil Session of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) which began at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Nadi today.
Mr Vaniqi said Government was putting in place various mechanisms in order to see that the industry “on which Fiji was built” remains at the forefront of government’s reforms and plans.
“Currently we are implementing reforms that were in the Deloitte Report and the Fijian Government remains fully committed towards the sugar industry in Fiji,” he told delegates.
Mr Vaniqi also highlighted to delegates how politics had plagued Fiji’s sugar sector for years.
“The industry was politicized and we are trying to take that away. Politicizing the sugar industry has led to the failure of the industry however since the reforms; we have started seeing a lot of positives coming out of the industry.
“Some of the actions can be seen as fields that once grew sweet cane are now idle with leases not being renewed. Money that could have gone into the maintenance of mills went towards other areas.
“The Bainimarama government has now seen land leases being renewed and farmers returning to toil the land,” he said.
PS Vaniqi added that government is working on a strategic plan to ensure that the industry performs according to its true potential.
“Government is confident that the Sugar Industry Strategic Action Plan 2013-2017 is the way to go,” he added.
“Fijian Government values its global development partners and international friends in terms of collaborative efforts to grow its industry.”