‘More cash in rice farming than cane’

Sanjay Krishna (centre) operates a harvester at Ram Watan’s rice farm in Madhuvani Ra. The Rice Company of Fiji forecasts lower sales volumes of rice. Picture: FILE/ REINAL CHAND

AGRICULTURE Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy told farmers in Rakiraki that there is more money in rice farming than sugarcane farming.

He urged farmers to take up rice farming, saying “never ever will you make this money in sugar cane”.

“One tonne of cane currently is $85, to produce one tonne what is the cost, somebody tell me.

“It costs about $68-$69 as cost per tonne in sugar. So your return is $16 per tonne as profit for sugar,” Dr Reddy told farmers at a talanoa session last week.

He said if a farmer planted 25 tonnes of sugarcane on one acre, he would earn $400 as net return per acre.

Dr Reddy said rice generated much more in earnings.

“In rice, in one crop you get $800. So if you grow two crops in a year, you will have a net $1600 on one acre.

“Never ever will you make this money in sugar cane,” said Dr Reddy.

He said the ministry would provide harvesters and would buy all the rice.

“You don’t have to worry about the market, for example like sugar; you don’t have to worry about the market.

“We are going big-time into rice (farming).”

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