Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka visited the Rarawai Sugar Mill today, highlighting the significance of the sugar industry as more than just a source of income but a symbol of resilience and tenacity for generations of growers.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the late Turaga na Tui Tavua, Ratu Ovini Bokini, and acknowledged the achievements of the government in fulfilling the vision of a just reward for the hard work of workers and farmers in the industry.
Prime Minister Rabuka recognised the vital role of the sugar industry in Fiji, emphasising its importance to both the economy and the communities it sustains. He commended the foresight of the landowners who leased their land for cultivation, ensuring the sustainability of the industry for future generations.
Addressing the challenges faced by the industry, such as climate change, the Prime Minister assured that the government is committed to building resilience and implementing measures to overcome these obstacles.
He emphasised the need to adapt and change systems to sustain the productivity of the land and increase its contribution to the economy.
The Prime Minister outlined the coalition government’s comprehensive approach to securing the future of the sugar industry, encompassing the entire value chain.
These include enhancements at the farm level, streamlined harvesting and transportation procedures, and optimised efficiency during processing and milling.
The government is also exploring diversification opportunities, such as refined sugar, ethanol production, and power co-generation, to add value to the industry.
Prime Minister Rabuka expressed his admiration for the sugar industry and its resilience, particularly during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. He commended the industry’s ability to sustain families and contribute to the economy during these difficult times.
The Prime Minister reassured the sugar industry stakeholders of the coalition government’s unwavering commitment to its success.