Fiji is a small island country in the South Pacific. Sugar is its oldest industry, being in the vanguard of economic growth and development for over a century. Today the oldest industry, not only in Fiji but also in the South Pacific Island countries, is shrivelling and is poised on the precipice of collapse. The literature to date has singled out expiring land leases and the inability of the government to resolve this issue as the key to the current calamity. This paper aims to estimate a sugarcane production model for Fiji, delineating the short-run and long-run determinants. It expands the Cobb-Douglas production function in specifying the sugarcane production model and uses time series data (1970-2000) in estimating it. The major findings are that area harvested and fertiliser (capital), labour force and prices paid to sugarcane farmers have made positive contributions to sugarcane production in both the short- and long-run. The finding on the statistical significance of area harvested has direct relevance to the current land problems in Fiji. It is envisaged that the results will appeal to Fijian policy makers and that a speedy solution to the problem of expiring and non-productive use of sugarcane land will be achieved.
Field of Research
140201 Agricultural Economics 160505 Economic Development Policy