The Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF) is now an approved lender, recognized by the Fiji National Provident Fund.
This means that more than 11,317 sugar cane farmers who are members of the Sugar Cane Growers Fund, will now be able to access loans through the SCGF and use their FNPF housing eligibility for several housing related purposes.
It also allows current FNPF members to consider investing in a sugar cane farm as an additional source of income.
This will be subject to the existing FNPF housing withdrawal assistance guidelines.
SCGF Board Director and Chairman of the Board Credit Committee, Tevita Madigibuli said this opens up opportunities for FNPF members who are also members of the SCGF to:
purchase a cane farm;
purchase a cane farm with an existing house
reduce or clear existing housing loans.
“We at SCGF are thankful to FNPF for allowing us to be an approved lender. Our strategic intent is to provide a wide range of services to the growers and those who need funding in the sugar industry.” He adds that the SCGF will be launching the “Back to Farm” campaign which offers interest rebates to farmers for clearing their loans in part or full by the end of December 2019.
“So the FNPF funds can help in this program too, given that we are now an approved lender,” said Mr. Madigibuli.
FNPF Chief Executive Officer Jaoji Koroi said the Fund is always supportive of initiatives that would ensure the social protection of its members.
“We understand that sugar cane farmers have faced a lot of challenges through the years and we are supportive of efforts that not only ensures that their families have a livelihood to sustain them but that also enables them to provide their families with a proper home.”
“We are always encouraging our members to plan their retirement well and consider other opportunities such as investment or income generating initiatives that will help ensure a financially stable life after retirement,” said Mr. Koroi.
“This partnership with SCGF offers an opportunity to make a difference in the sugar industry,” he adds.
SCGF Chief Executive Officer Raj Sharma, labelled this as a huge achievement for the SCGF as well as the sugar industry.
“We can expect new farmers in the sugar industry as a result of SCGF becoming an approved lender and we anticipate interest from working class people to consider cane farming as a supplementary income,” said Mr. Raj.
He adds that SCGF staff have undergone the relevant training in terms of FNPF’s processes.
Interested FNPF members are encouraged to visit their nearest SCGF office with a copy of their latest FNPF statement for assessment or for queries on cane farm land that are available.