The availability of manual labour for sugarcane harvesting in Fiji is decreasing particularly in north of the island of Vanua Levu. Some growers there have resorted to sourcing labour from other islands. The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is looking to increase national sugar production over the coming years, to meet the demand of Fiji’s major export market – the European Union, and diversify the industry and reduce its dependence on a single market. FSC and the Fijian Government are encouraging the operation of mechanical harvesting services. However not all of the services already present are efficient. Many operate as cooperatives, with second hand machinery, and with little capital to access parts or adequate after sales service.
MDF is partnering with the Charan Jeath Singh Group, a multi-national company, to initiate a sustainable mechanical harvesting service that has access to both the capital and the technical support to ensure that an efficient and enduring service is available for farmers.