History

19th Century

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First Sugarcane Research Station in Fiji by CSR

The first ever basic scientific station for Sugarcane was established by the Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR) in the 19th Century (1890s) as an entomology station in Nausori, some 20km from the Capital of Fiji, Suva. This entomology station was established in response to the discovery of Fiji Leaf Gall disease in 1886.

1904

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3rd Sugarcane Breeding Station Established in the World

Photo credit: Australian National University & CSR Australia (source). Worker watering seedlings outside the Rarawai Experiment Station.

The first sugarcane research station established in the 19th century paved the way for the establishment of the 3rd only sugarcane breeding station in the world after Java and Barbados. The research station was later shifted to Rarawai, Ba, the western and drier area of Fiji in 1904. The research station was known as the Agriculture Experiment Station (AES).

1950

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Leaf & Soil Analysis Lab

Establishment of a leaf and soil analysis lab in 1950 followed by a centralized research station in Lautoka in the late 1950s.

1958

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Artificial Induction of Sugarcane Flowering

Pedicellate florets of portion of the sugarcane inflorescence.

1961

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Synchronized Flowering through Photoperiod House

Photo credit: Australian National University & CSR Australia (source)

Photoperiod house in operation in Rarawai.

Mid 1960s

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Training Centers

Photo credit: Australian National University & CSR Australia (source)

Foundation of what was to become the future of extension division in the mid-1960s.

1968

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Insectary for screening Fiji Leaf Gall disease

Development of an insectary method for screening varieties resistance to Fiji Leaf Gall.

1969

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Fertilizer Trials

Photo credit: Australian National University & CSR Australia (source)

Formulation of fertilizer recommendations through fertilizer trials in 1969

1969

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Downy Mildew Screening

Development of intensive field method for screening varieties resistance to Downy Mildew disease.

1970s

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Establishment of a full fledge Research Station

A full fledged research station, complete with chemistry labs, tissue culture lab, sugar analysis lab, breeding station, hot water treatment station, pest & diseases labs, etc was established at Drasa Avenue, Balawa in Lautoka (current site for FSC's Head Office). The research station was later relocated to Vakabuli, Drasa under EU support.

1970

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Producing the Variety "Ono" - Tissue Culture

Perfection of the tissue culture technique to obtain the first known disease resistant, Ono variety, a sub-clone of Pindar variety in Fiji.

1972

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Leveraging Computer Technology

Yield analysis of sugarcane based on topography using computer software in 1972.

1974

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Drainage Survey

Production of drainage map through drainage survey for all sugarcane sectors in 1974

1976

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Cell Fusion Technology

Investigation of sugarcane cell fusion technique in 1976.

1976 - 2005

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Advancements in Research

The Sugarcane Research Center continued improvements in all aspects of sugarcane research through advancements in the 20th and 21st century technologies.

2006

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Independence

In 2006 Sugarcane Research Center gained independence from the Fiji Sugar Corporation Ltd` through an Act in parliament and was renamed from Sugarcane Research Center to Sugar Research Institute of Fiji (SRIF).

The areas of research that SRIF undertakes includes:
1. Sugarcane conventional breeding
2. Soil and leaf analytical services
3. Cane analysis for research and investigation purposes
4. Pests and diseases screenings
5. Crop diversification
6. Management of estate commercial farms
7. Effective land utilization
8. Production of disease free seedcane
9. Conduct donor financed projects for the benefit of the farmers. 

Major functions as outlined by the SRIF Act of 2005:
1. To design, develop, monitor and review research programs and research strategies for the sugar industry.
2. To investigate, evaluate the requirements for research or technical and scientific progress and measure the efficiency relating to the growing of sugar cane.
3. To prevent, control and eradicate pest infection of sugar cane.
4. To develop and assist in the development of methods of production, harvesting, and processing of sugar cane and by-products.
5. To develop a cane quality payment system for the sugar industry.
6. To provide training, advice and information to any person concerning any matter relating to the production, harvesting and processing of sugar cane or any other matter relating to the production of sugar cane or sugar by-products.
7. To preserve and enhance the ability of land to sustain sugar crops.
8. To assist in keeping to a minimum and damage to the environment that may be caused by the activities of the sugar industry.
9. To identify diversification opportunities for the sugar industry.
10. To carry out field and factory audits to assess performance trends for the benefit of the sugar industry. 

2006 - Present Day

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Progress so far

The establishment of SRIF as an independent organization paved the way for the Institute to apply for donor funding. The Institute submitted several proposals and was successful in securing funding from theEuropean Union between 2007 to 2018.

In this period, SRIF was able to establish its head office and offices at other sub stations located in the four mill areas. In addition SRIF was able to procure vehicles and laboratory equipments and conduct research projects that benefited farmers and other stakeholders alike.

Some notable achievements include:
1. The investment in NIR technology to analyse research sugarcane samples
2. Establishment of hot water treatment plants for seedcane sterilization
3. Establishment of clean seedcane distribution system
4. Hosting of international workshop on Noblization of Erianthus
5. Investment in laboratory equipment including molecular laboratory equipment
6. Planting and demonstration of numerous aspects of crop husbandry and contemporary techniques through field days and many more.

Address

Vakabuli Rd, Drasa
Lautoka
Fiji


Contacts

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +679 892 1839 | 892 1840

Affiliates
MoSI FSC | SCGC | SCGF | SIT

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