Ba

Sugarcane farmers consulted on best farming management practices

In a bid to discuss best management farming practices for sugarcane various stakeholders converged for a one-day consultation at the Rarawai and Penang Cane Producers Association office in Ba last week. This was part of the  Pacific-American Climate Fund (PACAM) which saw the attendance of officials from the Ministry of Sugar, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji […]

Salote Qalubau

June 30, 2016 7:03 am

In a bid to discuss best management farming practices for sugarcane various stakeholders converged for a one-day consultation at the Rarawai and Penang Cane Producers Association office in Ba last week.

PACAM Project Manager, Vinesh Kumar during the consultation (WWF)
PACAM Project Manager, Vinesh Kumar during the consultation. (WWF)

This was part of the  Pacific-American Climate Fund (PACAM) which saw the attendance of officials from the Ministry of Sugar, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji Sugar Corporation, Sugar Cane Growers Council, Sugar Research Institute of Fiji, South Pacific Fertilizers, Rarawai and Penang Cane Producers Association, and sugarcane farmers.

PACAM project manager Mr Vinesh Kumar said the workshop was a step in the right direction and provided a platform to test the concept with stakeholders.

KUMAR: “The stakeholders provided an insight on the sugarcane farming methods adopted in the past, the current practice and what the practice should be in future for sustainability in terms of changing climate regime and discussions were held on the setup of model sugarcane farms that would showcase the adoption of better management practice and climate resilient farms.”

Stakeholders raising their concerns during the consultation.(WWF)
Stakeholders raising their concerns during the consultation. (WWF)

Mr Kumar added that the consultation is a first of four initial steps that will be undertaken and that the production activities for the model farms will then be implemented according to the work plan collectively agreed to by stakeholders.

It was also revealed during the consultation that current sugarcane practices have led to sediment and chemical runoffs into Fiji’s river systems which has had drastic impacts on the Great Sea Reef.

KUMAR: “Two sugarcane farms will be selected and developed into a model farm that would be used to showcase better management practices, moving towards climate resilient farms. Once the farms are selected, development of farm management plan will follow. There will be a stakeholder workshop to be held in September to provide an update and way forward for demonstration of management practices.”

The ultimate outcome would be moving towards Bonsucro certification that will help reduce the environmental and social impact of sugarcane production, recognizing the need for economic viability and boosting production and productivity resulting in increasing monetary return to the farmer and the community.

Stakeholders raising their concerns during the consultation. (WWF)
Stakeholders raising their concerns during the consultation. (WWF)

Meanwhile other benefits of the will include the restoration of  the Great Sea Reef and in turn enhances sources of livelihood for the communities in Nailaga, Ba and the country as a whole through tourism, food sources, and biodiversity.

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