EU as­sures of more fund­ing for our sugar in­dus­try

Fiji Sun - - Business - WAISEA NA­SOKIA EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL Feed­back: waisean@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Euro­pean Union has once again ex­pressed their in­ter­est to as­sist our sugar in­dus­try to en­sure its sus­tain­abil­ity. This was re­vealed by Euro­pean Union Am­bas­sador to the Pa­cific, Andrew Ja­cobs, in Nadi yes­ter­day. He said sugar and agri­cul­ture are some of the big pri­or­i­ties the Euro­pean Union is work­ing hard to as­sist Fi­jians in. Mr Ja­cobs said: “We are work­ing with our of­fice in Brus­sels as we are pre­par­ing a pro­gramme of sup­port for the sugar and the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try as well the re­cov­ery af­ter the cy­clone. “We know there is 20 mil­lion Euros pro­gramme which is around FJ$45 mil­lion. We have the funds for the sugar and agri­cul­ture and there is a need to have some­thing ad­di­tional to that as well.” Mr Ja­cobs said it was one of their big pri­or­i­ties to en­sure the sugar and agri­cul­ture in­dus­try here picks up. Thus, they are fo­cus­ing on the in­dus­try and en­sur­ing that farm­ers have to means to re­cover from the ef­fects of the cy­clone, not only for their fam­i­lies but also for the over­all Fi­jian econ­omy. He re­mained tight lipped with the amount that will be en­dorsed, how­ever, he said it will be re­vealed next month. “We don’t know the ad­di­tional funds we are go­ing to have but we will be an­nounc­ing in the next two to three weeks then,” he said. Mr Ja­cobs said the funds will be di­rected to the Fi­jian Gov­ern­ment and the onus re­mains on Gov­ern­ment in the or­der to make the util­i­sa­tion for those funds. He said the way they work is the funds get di­rected to the Gov­ern­ment and then the Gov­ern­ment will de­cide what to do with it.

“If it (gov­ern­ment) de­cides to pri­ori­tise the fund for the sugar mills, that’s the Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion. Our work is how much money we can make avail­able to them,” Mr Ja­cobs said.

We don’t know the ad­di­tional funds we are go­ing to have but we will be an­nounc­ing in the next two to three weeks then. Gov­ern­ment will then have to pri­ori­tise.

Andrew Ja­cobs

Euro­pean Union Am­bas­sador to the Pa­cific

Photo: WAISEA NA­SOKIA

EU Am­bass­dor to the Pa­cific,

Andrew Ja­cobs, and Mrs Ja­cobs with Nurs­ery owner Devesh

Nath at Vo­tualevu,

Nadi yes­ter­day. Mr Nath ex­plains about the plants in his nurs­ery.

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