Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF) received $6.046m in the cane payment paid on 1st April 2020. From the payment, SCGF has refunded $4.339m which is overall 72 percent of the payment to the growers. The rest is taken as loan repayment in terms of the contractual obligations.
Chief Executive Officer of SCGF, Mr. Raj Sharma, said those growers who have met the repayment, would have received 100 per cent of the proceeds as refund, and those whose accounts were due for the repayment, SCGF has retained the share of the funds as per the loan contract.
In the event, the growers who have difficulty and seek financial assistance, we are more than happy to assist them on case by case basis, said Mr. Sharma. Those growers have default accounts and with confirmed arrangements, we will consider their requests too. We are always there to listen to the growers but we also need to be mindful of the levels of the debt one has and in the event, if the crisis prolongs, there need to be room to assist them.
Mr. Sharma said that the growers at this time should take advantage of the Government funded zero percent loan to plant sugar cane as this is the planting time. He also mentioned that SCGF has special Subsistence Farm Loan package that can be used by farmers as supplementary income source. The amount available is $7,000, repayable over 5 years at 6%.
Nonetheless, if the growers have been affected by COVID-19 or otherwise, we will assist on case by case.
Chief Executive Officer