Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF) in the last six months ending 30th June 2022 approved 1395 loans applications valued $6.8m. Compared to same period last year, it was 1065 applications valued $5.5 million. This is an increase of 25 percent in the value compared to last year. This is above the forecast of $5.4 million for the period, said the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Sharma.
Most of the applications were from Northern division (Labasa & Seaqaqa) followed by Ba and then Lautoka, he said. The increase shows the confidence of our growers in the industry and North being dependent mostly on the industry too, he added. Last year there was a slow uptake due to TC Yasa where the production declined in North and also the lockdowns during Covid 19 which affected the movement of the growers.
This season with increased production and demand for advances for pre harvesting SCGF had to operate extended hours on Saturdays. Mr. Sharma said that there is lot of interest from working class people to buy a farm. He said one can use FNPF housing eligibility to buy a farm and women will have Loan Application fee discounted by 50 percent as part of corporate social responsibility, while supporting Sustainable Development Goal initiative, said Mr. Sharma.