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PM hands over $300k of grant for Cane Farmers Insurance Scheme

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama today handed over the grant agreement of more than $300, 000 to the Sugarcane Growers Fund to fully cover the sugarcane farmers’ premium for their bundled insurance for the last six months of this year.

R-L: Prime Minister, Peter McPherson (FijiCare Insurance Non-Executive Director), Raj Sharma (SCGF CEO).

At the Rarawai mill in Ba today, PM Bainimarama stated that under the terms of the Bundled Insurance Scheme, the growers agreed to begin paying the premium in July 2020.

“But we know how brutal the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact has been for Fiji, including for our Cane Industry.

“Of the many setbacks, for instance, we have not been able to operate our mechanized harvesters as efficiently as we’d like because technicians from India are stuck overseas. The point being, we knew these premium payments would have created an additional financial burden on our cane growers.

“So when the Sugarcane Growers Fund asked the Government to consider paying the growers’ premium from July through December 2020—we said yes. The result is this grant agreement, in the amount of $300,731.76.”

PM Bainimarama also reiterated the Fijian Government’s commitment to strengthen the Sugar Industry—to make it more robust, more modern, more efficient and competitive, and more profitable.

The Bundled Insurance Scheme began in 2017 and is offered by Fiji Care Insurance.

The Scheme covers death, fire, personal accident and funeral costs. It was developed by the Cane Growers and the Sugarcane Growers Fund, with some financial support provided by the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program, Sugarcane Growers Council and Fiji Sugar Corporation.

Nearly 12,000 active cane growers under the age of 65 have been covered through this Scheme at a relatively low premium, and the Sugarcane Growers Fund volunteered to pay the premium for all registered growers for the first three years.