28 Sep 2007

EU suspends payments to Fiji sugar industry

9:35 am on 28 September 2007

The European Union has temporarily suspended 5-point-4 million US dollars in assistance for Fiji's ailing sugar industry because of the re-activation of the Public Emergency Regulations earlier this month.

Fiji TV reports that the funds will be released as soon as the Emergency Regulations are lifted.

This has been confirmed by the interim minister for finance and sugar, Mahendra Chaudhry, who has just returned from talks in Brussels.

Fiji's military council has decided to lift the Emergency Regulations on October the 6th.

Farmers' organisations in Fiji have been concerned whether the European Union funding would be provided because the money is needed to help in the planting of next year's crop.

They have asked the Sugar Cane Growers Fund to advance the money for use now until the EU money is released.