7 Apr 2003

Restructure of Fiji sugar industry deferred by a year

3:57 pm on 7 April 2003

The restructure of Fiji's ailing sugar industry has been deferred by a year.

The 130-million US dollar restructure was to have started at the beginning of this month but the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, is reported to have agreed to the deferment after stakeholders failed to agree on the changes sought in the plan.

But Mr Qarase says some changes like the quality cane payment system can begin now until full implementation of the plan next year.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank says more consultations with all stakeholders are needed before it makes a decision on whether it will fund the restructure.

The bank has already prepared a report for the government on alternative livelihoods for inefficient farmers forced to leave the industry.