Wati, first farmer to benefit from reduced loan application fees

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Ms. Wati, 62, manages her 25-acre farm with her son, Sanej Kumar.

Bisma Wati is the first female sugarcane farmer to benefit from the Sugarcane Growers Fund’s new 50% loan application fee reduction initiative.

The farmer from Anuve in Labasa received her loan approval letter on Monday.

And it was the first to be reduced under this new initiative.

Arvind Avikesh Chandra, Head of Loans at the Fund’s Labasa/Seaqaqa branch, said the initiative aims to achieve and promote the Sustainable Development Goals on gender equality.

He said the initiative would allow women farmers to apply for any type of loan for a reasonable fee of $75 per application, up from $150 previously.

“We want to create a level playing field because women also play an important role in our sugar industry,” he said.

Ms. Wati, 62, manages her 25-acre farm with her son, Sanej Kumar.

She said such assistance would encourage other women farmers to opt for loan schemes.

Ms. Wati applied for a loan to purchase a new sugarcane truck to reduce the cost of transporting the cane to the Labasa sugar factory.

She said her farm produces 450 to 500 tons of sugar cane each year and each trip to the factory costs $9.00.

Ms Wati’s son, Sanei Kumar, hoped to repay his existing loan and engage in more loan opportunities with the fund in the future.

Return: sampras.anand@fijisun.com.fj

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