Farmer’s cane pain following sugar dump
PROSERPINE cane farmer Peter Faust said the Indian Government’s decision to dump five million tonnes of subsidised sugar onto the global market was “a big kick in the belly” for local cane growers.
“Whenever you have to compete in a subsidised market, the playing fields aren’t level. We happily pay our employees a decent wage and we’re up against countries that don’t, and that takes its toll,” Mr Faust said.
The global price of raw sugar dropped to 30 per cent of the production cost, which severely impacted cane crop in Proserpine following damage from Tropical Cyclone Debbie and now, drought conditions.
The sugar industry remains the region’s principal industry, but Mr Faust said diversification might be the way to go if the cycles of bad luck become more frequent, which he believes they have.
“There is a chance that this decision might be a catalyst for diversification of crop in the region in the future,” he said.
TOUGH: Cane farmer Peter Faust said India’s sugar dump is the continuation of an 18-month struggle.