Fairtrade Project Manager, Ms Judith van Eijnatten speaks with a sugarcane farmer at the launch of the Fairtrade project Farmers Handbook in Nadi today

 

A Handbook to guide farmers in Fiji’s sugarcane belt areas was launched in Nadi today. The Farmers Handbook was launched as part of the European Union (EU) funded Fairtrade Associations Capacity Building and Farm Advisory Services Support Project, which is being implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

The handbook, titled “Establishing a Farmer Field School: A Handbook for Fiji’s Sugar Industry” explains how Farmer Field Schools are run and will serve as a useful tool to guide farm advisory services staff in Fiji’s sugar industry, as well as leader and link farmers in the country’s sugarcane belt.

Along with the Handbook, a set of two posters were produced to illustrate the agricultural calendars for plant and ratoon cane. The posters will complement the Handbook as a useful tool to guide farmers on the type of crop practices to use and when to use them.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union during the launch of the Farmers Handbook and posters, Programme Manager Alejandro Matos Lopez said: “The European Union is pleased to be supporting the work of the Fairtrade and Farm Advisory Services Project. This is about improving the livelihoods and income of farmers in Fiji’s sugarcane communities. The Farmers Handbook and the posters launched today are useful tools to guide the work of leader farmers, as well as the industry’s field staff.”

Explaining the practicalities of the handbook and materials launched, SPC’s Fairtrade Project Manager, Judith van Eijnatten said: “The handbooks and posters are weather-resistant, practical tools which can be taken into the field. The handbooks will be given out to each of the 300 leader farmers and we hope that they will facilitate the work being done by these farmers in Fiji’s sugarcane communities.”

Distribution of the Farmers handbook and posters will begin this month.

Representatives of the Pacific Community (SPC), European Union (EU), Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) and farmers at the launch of the Fairtrade project Farmers Handbook in Nadi today

Photo: Representatives of the Pacific Community (SPC), European Union (EU), Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) and farmers at the launch of the Fairtrade project Farmers Handbook in Nadi today

Background:
The Fairtrade Farm Advisory Services Project is one of several projects implemented by SPC and financed by the EU in Fiji’s sugarcane belt. These projects are linked to the EU’s Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP) programme and aim to help strengthen rural sugar-income dependent communities in response to the EU’s Sugar Price Reform and the adverse conditions in the sugar industry. The AMSP programme is designed to improve the livelihoods of sugarcane dependent populations, increase income and reduce poverty.

Media contacts:
Debbie Singh, SPC Sugar Projects Communications Specialist │ Email: [email protected]

DOWNLOAD:
Fairtrade Farmers Handbook