The handing over of 30 tractors to the Fiji Sugar Corporation by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will help mechanize cane farming.
This also means it makes life easier and better for the farmers and brings world class tools to bear in the sugar cane industry.
The 30 Mahindra 9500 92 horsepower four-wheel drive tractors present an investment of $2.8 million from Government.
The tractors would be rented out to farmers at minimum costs and would come with employed drivers trained to handle the equipment.
Farming implements will also be available, including ploughs, rippers, rotovators, harrows, slashers, cane planters, fertilizer boxes and boom sprayers.
All these implements are attached to the tractors when in use and are available on hire to farmers at minimal costs.
“So as a farmer, all you need to do is focus on your business, the business of farming cane, and let these tractors and drivers assist with land preparation and cane planting, and watch your production costs fall dramatically,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“This investment is a key pillar of the FSC’s five-year plan to mechanize this industry, make life better and easier for our farmers, and make our sugar industry more competitive.
“As far as the timing of this handover, it couldn’t be better, as we are on the cusp of the replanting season.
“So you will soon all be able to join the many millions of farmers around the world who rely on these best in class tractors to get the job done in time for the next season.”
FSC plans to order more mechanical harvesters, haulage trucks and new field vehicles to serve the cane farmers around the country.
Mr Bainimarama said Government was taking this industry into a new era of modernization and prosperity.
“We are giving you, our cane farmers, the tools and the resources you need to be the most productive you can be, even in the face of our changing climate, a changing industry and a changing global marketplace,” he said.
He said the beauty of mechanization was that it not only reduced the intense man hours necessary to deliver a successful season and protected farmers from labor shortages.
Presently, there are 21 cane farmer cooperatives, each assisted by Government with $90,000 as deposit payments on mechanical harvesters and with that there has been an increase in the percentage of cane harvested by mechanical harvesters from 8 per cent last year to 18 per cent.
Source: Fiji Sun
Date : March 30th, 2018