FIJI has a lot to learn from India in terms of maintaining and sustaining a viable sugar industry. These were the words of Sugar permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi on his return from the International Sugar Organisation meeting that was held there.

Lt-Col Vaniqi said despite having 15 million farmers working on five million hectares, India's sugar industry stakeholders worked in tandem for the common benefit of the country as a whole.

"They have a sound structure. Millers work to ensure that factories are at their best and produce sugar very efficiently while growers focus on getting the best yield possible from their cane fields," he said.

He said Indian farmers also used every means possible to get their cane to the mills and local growers could take a leaf out of their book.

"Apart from the usual rail and lorry transport, growers there also use bullocks pulling carts and even people pushing carts รน and the onus was delivering the best possible cane to the mill on time," said Lt-Col Vaniqi.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has promised to investigate allegedly faulty equipment used by Indian technicians during mill upgrades conducted in Fiji between 2007-2010, funded by an Export Import Bank of India line of credit to the tune of $92.97 million.

source: fijitimes

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