SCGC removal ‘a bad idea’

Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad speaking at the Sugar Industry Stakeholders Meeting. Picture: FIJI GOVERNMENT

The decision to abolish the Sugar Cane Growers Council and have an appointed council was a bad decision.

Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad told the Sugar Industry Stakeholders Meeting this past Wednesday that the focus of the sugar industry stakeholders should be to see how they could bring the farmers and the landowners back into the industry’s organisational structure.

He said the abolition of the elected Sugar Cane Growers Council removed the cohesion and consultation process.

“It doesn’t reflect any thing on the current CEO of the Sugar Cane Growers Council, because he’s landed with a structure, he’s landed with a situation where he reports to government or reports to the FSC instead of reporting to the farmers of this country,” Prof Prasad said.

“That is something that we would like the discussion to also focus on how we can bring the farmers, the landowners back into the organisational structure so that we can all work together.

“I’m sure the honourable (sugar) minister understands that very well and I hope that we will get back to an elected Sugar Cane Growers Council so that we can bring that cohesion, bring that discussion with the farmers who are the ultimate tillers of the land who will produce cane that will define every other organisation that is there.

“So that should be an overriding focus of our strategy to bring the sugar industry back.

“As for the Government, coalition governments can be very good, can be very challenging.

“But under the leadership of the honourable prime minister, we are focused on a new style of governance, a new style of government, which means a government based on consultation, on dialogue, on making policies through proper discussion and consultation.”

More Stories