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Fiji's agricultural land used for sugar cane planting in demand: PM

Xinhua English


SUVA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Agricultural land used for sugarcane farming in Fiji has become highly sought out by people and businesses who want to use it for other purposes according to the island nation's Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar, Voreqe Bainimarama.

State owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation news website reports on Saturday that Bainimarama said in parliament this week that the sector continues to face challenges.

Sugar production was one of the key export; therefore, sugarcane farming drove the development agenda in Fiji as it supported many families and the economy.

"There is a rising demand on agricultural land due to competing needs for developments including industrial, residential and other commercial purposes. As per industry records, 10 requests for re-zoning of agricultural sugarcane land are made every week on average," he said.

Bainimarama adds there is a growing number of applications to re-zone land used for sugarcane farming.

He adds while government agencies involved in the sugar industry are consulted, they have no say in the final decision.

Bainimarama also revealed that issues such as expiring leases, low sugarcane harvest and labour shortages continue to affect the growth of the sugar sector. Enditem