October 16, 2019
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 said 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.
“Growers have so far received $73.52 in four payments for a tonne of sugarcane. They are owed $11.48 per tonne of cane as final payment to ensure the minimum price of $85 per tonne is met because this was promised by the Government in its Budget last year”.
“ We 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. 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”.
“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”.
“We therefore call upon the Sugar Cane Growers Council to request FSC to facilitate an early payment and also advise them not to make any deductions”.
Hon Prof Biman Prasad