Smart retirement plan – New initiative targets working population

Truck drivers Dinesh Chand (left), Muni Chand, Krishneel Lal and Prem Narayan wait patiently for the Lautoka Sugar Mill to start crushing. Despite the injection of more than $452 million into the sugar industry since 2016, the two million tonnes of cane target has not been achieved, says the Ministry of Sugar Industry. Picture: FILE/REINAL CHAND

Investment on farms not only provides an additional source of income, but also provides income post-retirement as well.

This comment was made by Assistant Sugar Minister George Vegnathan during the launch of the Cane Farm Purchase – Smart Retirement Plan promotion at the Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF) head office in Lautoka last week.

“The Farm Purchase initiative of SCGF targets the working population who wish to invest in housing or investing in farms as a retirement plan through FNPF’s housing eligibility scheme,” he said.

Mr Vegnathan said interested Fijians taking advantage of this initiative would benefit from the sugar industry as a whole.

“This initiative where interested individuals can utilise its housing eligibility from FNPF to procure sugarcane farm or sugarcane farm with house. It also encourages younger people to venture into sugarcane farming and turning it into a commercial business.”

He said the initiative provided easy and affordable access to finance facilities for our working population wanting to invest in farms as a smart retirement plan.

Raj Sharma, the CEO of SCGF, said post-COVID-19, a number of working professionals – civil servants, as well as those in the tourism sector and other private sectors have invested in cane farming.

“This promotion also gives opportunities to our senior farmers who wish to quit farming or those who are living in overseas and intend to dispose the farms, that we are creating an environment for buyers and sellers.”

Mr Sharma added that the promotion comes with cash prizes for all successful applications that would be drawn on December 21 with the first prize of $300, second prize of $200 and third prize of $100 to be won.

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