16 May 2017

Concern at inequity in Fiji sugar bailout

2:22 pm on 16 May 2017

A representative of Fiji's sugar cane growers says the government's bailout is not fair to all the cane farmers who suffered after Cyclone Winston.

Sugar cane trucks in Fiji's western division.

Sugar cane trucks in Fiji's western division. Photo: RNZ / Alex Perrottet

The nearly $US5 million package announced yesterday wipes deductions like rent from the next cane payout and the debt on special small loans taken out by nearly 4,000 sugar farmers in the wake of last year's devastating cyclone.

The secretary of the Rakiraki branch of the Fiji Cane Growers Association, Pushp Dass, says the growers who've already paid rent should also be compensated.

And he says many growers didn't take up the offer of an interest free loan out of concern at paying it back.

"There should have been a clear indication that it will be waived and there should have given it to everybody that was affected by Cyclone Winston. It's just that some people decided to take it and some did not. If it is a grant now, they should pay to everybody that was affected by Cyclone Winston."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs