- The Chief Guest – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development, and Statistics- Hon Professor Prasad
- Chairman, Mr. Sen Board Members of Sugar Cane Growers Fund
- All institutional Heads, stakeholders, Government officials,
- Our partners – Datec Fiji Ltd / Sesame Software Fiji Ltd
- Our Management and staff of SCGF
First and foremost, we thank the Honorable Deputy Prime Minister for his visit to us at SCGF. Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you and your Ministry of Finance team for your visits to meet the rural populace, the grassroots, and sugar cane farmers.
Likewise, we also acknowledge the visit made by Minister for Sugar and Multi-Ethnic Affairs, Hon Charan Jeath Singh.
Hope the issues raised will be taken into consideration.
These visits and personal interactions with people or farmers play a very essential part.
We also thank the millers – FSC and the government for the payment of $85 paid to the growers and expect the final payment in October too.
Hon Deputy Prime Minister these are positive signs for the people and the industry.
We, Sugar Cane Growers Fund with our inception since 1947, (76 years), are and will be committed in the sugar industry reform.
We have continued looking at various ways and means of bringing innovative, simple and very affordable grower needed services and products – that would support the industry, the growers, and the community.
In the last 4 years (2019 to 2022) SCGF approved 9360 applications valued$36.04m which is an average 2340 applications and $9m per annum.
This year, whilst the cane payments have been very good – since January to 26 May 2023, 879 applications valued $3.71m have been approved.
In other aspect of SCGF’s achievements includes without limiting to- Overall improvements in Financial Performance and Reporting, Asset Quality, Policy and Governance Environment, People and Talents recognition and deepening the grower engagement to name a few. In addition, SCGF have engaged with international business partner Business Link Pacific business and diversification or supplementary income for the grower.
On the journey to Digital platform, it all started in 2019 and work commenced in March 2020 with first phase “cut over” on 20 August 2020 to the new software system, provided by an Indian ICT Company- Sesame Software Private Limited with its local partners Datec Fiji Ltd. These changes played very important role during the peaks or lockdowns of Covid 19 as SCGF been part of the “essential services” to our growers, Gradually management commissioned the system in phases and which included the app- MySCGF and the financial system. The total cost of ICT and financial systems is $0.561m.
The App had been in operation after the soft launch last year, however, we had to get all the security checks and compliance that included scalability and penetration tests before the full official launch. To date. there are 428 registered users and 43 applications approved valued $0.278m against a total of 60 valued $0.429m. Of the productive 10,872 growers, SCGF has 5240 growers (which represents (48%) having 6919 accounts valued at $ 28.9m, and, with other lenders having around $19m loans SCGF represents a market share of 60%. We are also very much mindful that Digital platforms cannot be used by all the growers, looking at the demographic space as only 1270 (24% of our total of 5240) are below 47 years, which is our target. Equally important is face-to-face interaction for the relationship.
Just last week we reviewed our strategic plan in view of the changing environment however the core business, funding to the cane growers remain the priority together with a diversification and integration approach to mitigate the risk. Today’s launch will take SCGF to another level and we thank you Hon Deputy Prime Minister once again.
Chief Executive Officer