18 May 2009

Fiji sugar growers still hope to get 2009 EC sugar grant

3:33 pm on 18 May 2009

Fiji's Sugar Cane Growers Council is hopeful some money can be salvaged after the cancellation of the European Commission's 2009 sugar allocation.

The European Commission has cancelled about 32 million US dollars worth of funding, saying it has taken the decision in the absence of any indication that a legitimate government will be in place in 2009.

Fiji's Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO, Surendra Sharma, says he met the interim prime minister two weeks ago and was assured he would be meeting with the EU.

"Also possibly talking to the Forum island country leaders to see how this amount of money could be salvaged by way of providing some commitments to the forum island countries and also to the European Union, so the fact that this amount has been cancelled does not mean that it has been re-allocated to other ACP countries."

Surendra Sharma says a large amount of the money would have been used to rehabilitate farms and plant new cane.