THE Sugar Research Institute of Fiji (SRIF) is encouraging farmers in the area to try out different varieties of cane in its effort to lift the image of the sugar industry to another level by maximising on sugar extraction and decreasing the likelihood of disease affecting crops.

Through its program, the institute has introduced the Sugar Cane Breeding project at Dobuilevu, Ra, to assist the farmers in improving their yields.

SIRF scientific officer Amit Raj Singh said the main purpose of the breeding was to bring to the public the work that had been done by the institute in Fiji in terms of producing better varieties of cane.

He said various cane varieties were tested at the breeding centre with the best and most resilient given to farmers.

This is to give farmers different varieties and for them to use the best that will in turn improve their yields, Mr Singh said.

This project started in 2009 and has been progressing well with the main objective of assisting farmers to make full use of the benefits and the assistance provided by the institute, he said.

He said plans were in the pipeline to invite schoolchildren to witness the project and in the process educate them on the researches and other projects offered in Fiji.

Inviting students to come to this cane breeding project is a way to foster interest in them to join the industry, Mr Singh said.

Agriculture is not really a preferred choice for most of the students nowadays as most go for white-collar jobs.

The main aim of inviting students is to encourage them to come into this field and to create awareness that this kind of activity is not happening in Australia or in other parts of the world but at our doorsteps.

These students can educate their parents who are farmers by emphasising the importance of producing different varieties to improve production yield, he said.

source: fijitimes

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