Cyclones cause $200 million in damage to sugar industry – FBC News

[File Photo]

Cyclones have cost the sugar industry more than $200 million in damage since 2016.

This is according to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama who said the brutal hurricane seasons of 2016 and 2020, in particular, saw cane production capacity shrink by a third.

The Minister of Sugar Industry also said that this was mainly due to crop losses and damage to mills and other infrastructure.

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“In addition to spending millions to rehabilitate and build resilience in the industry, the Fijian government heavily subsidizes the costs of inputs like fertiliser, invests heavily in industry-related research, including the production of resilient crops, grants subsidies and finances investment programs aimed at increasing the planting and production of sugar cane, improving and increasing the rate of mechanization.

While also addressing the International Sugar Organization workshop this morning, Bainimarama told those in attendance and participants in the virtual listen-in that Fiji remains committed to calling for climate action.

He says that as leaders representing sugarcane growers, he demanded that they defend their interests by reducing the carbon emissions they are responsible for storms, rising seas and changing weather patterns that threaten farmers’ livelihoods.

Rachel J. Bradford