18 May 2009

Fears that EU sugar funding cancellation could collapse Fiji's industry

7:07 pm on 18 May 2009

Fiji's former sugar minister, says the cancellation of EU sugar funding for Fiji this year could lead to the collapse of the industry.

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

Fiji's former sugar minister and the general secretary of the National Farmers Union, Mahendra Chaudhry says the industry stakeholders need to get together to see what can be done

"Sugar is very important for Fiji's economy, and if this industry collapses, it's now reduced to half its former size, but if it should go together then of course it will have very grave consequences for Fiji's economy, so it is in the interests of all concerned to do something to save this industry from collapse."

Mahendra Chaudhry says the EC's move is a big blow for farmers, as they would benefit most from the money.