27 Jul 2006

India's sugar technology mission no longer involved in Fiji sugar

9:10 am on 27 July 2006

It has been confirmed in Fiji that the Sugar Technology Mission from India will no longer be involved in overseeing the restructure of the country's ailing sugar industry.

Fiji TV reports that the mission was informed of the decision in a letter last month.

The report says this follows a breakdown in the working relationship between the state-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation and the mission from India.

The Sugar Technology Mission began work to restructure the failing Fiji sugar industry in 2004 under a government to government agreement.

It drew up plans to restructure all aspects of the industry including the growing, harvesting, transport and milling of sugar cane, and helped in the tender process to acquire equipment for mill upgrading.

The head of the Indian Sugar Technology Mission, Jag Jiwan Bhagat, has refused to comment on why they won't be involved any more.

Mr Bhagat has told Fiji TV in an email that "to reveal details would cause embarrassment to many" people.

H says the reason they are not required any more is best known to the Fiji Sugar Corporation.