Imtaz Ali, a canefamer of Karavi Tractor Trailer Gang quenches his thirst after loading in Karavi, Ba. Picture: JAI PRASAD
THE sugarcane farmers’ share of proceeds from the sale of raw sugar has declined significantly with growers set to receive about $52 per tonne from the last shipment of sugar, says the National Farmers Union.
General secretary and former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry said the future of the industry was on the brink of collapse if this trend continued.
“The collapse would have grave consequences for Fiji’s rural economy, throwing a significant number of people into poverty,” Mr Chaudhry said.
He cited an article which appeared in this newspaper on Thursday, July 16 that quoted Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan as saying 32,500tonnes of sugar worth $22.76million was shipped to Tate & Lyle Sugars in the UK last week.
“This works out at $700 per tonne. This compares with $1100 per tonne previously paid for our sugar,” he said.
“After deducting industry costs and apportioning the proceeds between the miller and grower, the canefarmer is likely to receive just over $51 per tonne of cane from this sale.
“This is a cheap sale of our sugar. It has got our canefarmers worried.
“They see it as a sign of what to expect after 2016 when our agreement with the EU runs out.
“Growers cannot survive on such a depressed price.”
Mr Khan confirmed the decline in price and added that further reductions were to be expected.
“If you look at the world market price, there was a decrease in price for the 2013-2014 season and the decrease was considerable when compared with the previous season,” he said.
“The world market price has come down and as it continues to decline, the EU market price has reduced proportionately.
“The closer we get to the end of preferential access to the EU in 2017, we will see that the price will continue to drop
Source : Duniya Ke Samachar