The Sugar Cane Growers Fund lent $10 million last year, says chief executive officer Raj Sharma.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic failed to dampen growers’ commitment to developing the industry.
“It was the highest ever loan approvals recorded by the fund for a number of years,” he said.
Mr Sharma said the fund approved 1349 loan applications with a total value of $5.228 million from January to July 31 this year.
“That was 82 per cent of our target.
“We did record a low number of loan applications for the month of May this year, mainly because of the restrictions that were in place during the emergence of a second wave of COVID-19 when containment areas were subsequently erected at Momi in Sigatoka to Lomolomo, Lautoka.
“Transportation became an issue for the canefarmers.”
He said farmers from Ba showed a strong interest in the industry. ”
Most of the loans were from Ba, which totalled $1.261 million.
“The cane farmers in the Northern Division also showed their continued commitment in the industry with $1.064 million in loans approved for Labasa while Seaqaqa recorded $0.712 million in actual borrowings.”