As of yesterday (Monday), we have received 480 applications valued at $423,750: Fund’s chief executive officer
The Sugar Cane Growers Fund is providing a special loan to all cane farmers in Fiji who need assistance for their children’s education.
This assistance is for the children of sugarcane farmers from primary school to tertiary level.
The fund’s chief executive officer, Raj Sharma said the ‘Back-to-School’ promotion began on January 11 and would continue to March 31, 2021.
“Under this promotion, our sugarcane farmers can obtain loans for their children’s education and meet all the needs whether primary, secondary or tertiary schools. This is for farmers that need some sort of financial funding to fill their coffers for back-to-school,” he said.
Mr Sharma said a total of 480 applications had been received so far.
“As of yesterday (Monday), we have received 480 applications valued at $423,750. For these applications, no fee is applied to them and interest is four per cent for first year and six per cent for the others, so in times of need we are there for the sugarcane farmer’s education,” he said.
“The first week of December all these applications would be put into a draw with the first name out of the draw to get $100, second $75 and the third $50.”
He said the sugarcane farmers loan up to $10,000 towards their children’s education and all sugarcane farmers were eligible to apply whether or not they were affected by Cyclone Yasa.
Meanwhile, the Fund, through its staff, provided grocery packages to over 60 families along with tarpaulins and also assisted with cash collection for a female farmer in Wainikoro.
Mr Sharma said the fund was looking at the cane payment due this Friday while normal repayment deductions would be made on a case by case basis.
He said the sugarcane farmers would need to make a request for this.
“We also need to be mindful that they are not over indebted where there is an urgency that they want to complete their houses, they can always get a loan at a rate of six per cent because virtually it means the same thing, but immediate quick loans they can get it for four per cent interest rate,” he said.
“Last year we had done in access of $150,000 and this year we also expect in the similar line, but the payments of this week may ease which is good for the farmers; we do not want them to be over indebted.”
Mr Sharma added that the fund also deferred the new fee for farmers in the North valued $0.050m for six months.
He said the reduced initial interest for the rehabilitation package was from six per cent to four per cent, valued at $0.050m.
He said the waived application fee of $20 valued $0.020m which totaled up to $0.120m.
Source: Fiji Sun