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Monday, 07 November 2016

EU in talks with Fijian sugar industry stakeholders

The European Union says it will consult with sugar industry stakeholders its plans to support farmers who will be affected when preferential quota access of Fiji sugar to the European market ends in October next year. Responding to questions raised by the National Farmers Union about the involvement of sugarcane growers in the planning and implementing of aid projects, the EU said consultations with growers representative organisation was part of the process. The NFU was referring to an article which appeared in this newspaper on October 21 where EU Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs outlined plans to release $67.5 million in direct budget support to the Fijian Government to aid the agriculture and sugar sectors. Union general secretary and former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry said any aid program for the sugar industry must most importantly involve the concerns, contributions and suggestions of farmers. "They are the biggest stakeholders in the sugar industry and they stand to be the most affected when the EU preferential quota access ends in 2017," Mr Chaudhry said. In response, the Delegation of the EU for the Pacific said the plan was to work with the Fijian Government to support a credible and sustainable agriculture and sugar sector policy.

Source: fijitimes.com