The Sugar Cane Growers Council Chief Executive, Surendra Sharma has resigned.
Sources say Sharma gave his resignation letter to the Chairman of the SCGC Board of Directors, Jain Kumar.
The Board is the appointing authority of the CEO but so far neither Kumar nor Sharma have made the resignation public.
Surendra Sharma, now a New Zealand citizen, was appointed CEO at the end of October last year by the National Farmers Union (NFU) dominated SCGC Board.
His appointment contravened the resolution of the SCGC, adopted during the early days of ousted CEO Jagannath Sami’s tenure, which prevented those holding permanent residency of an overseas country from appointment to this very important job.
Of the 11-member Board, 9 Directors are from the National Farmers Union, whose General Secretary since its inception in 1978 is Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.
The Board became heavily weighted in favour of NFU after Sami was dismissed firstly by Frank Bainimarama after Christmas of 2006 and later through Decree Number 1 promulgated by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo in mid-January 2007.
Sami was prevented from returning to office in January 2007 despite the High Court granting an injunction to stay his dismissal.
In March 2007, Jai Shree Gawander, a deposed Labour Party MP, was appointed as SCGC CEO. He quit about a year later to take up an appointment as head of the Sugar Research Institute.
Sharma was appointed and took up office in November 2008. He resigned two months later in February, but withdrew his resignation saying he did this in the sole interest of working farmers.
At the end of March he resigned as Chairman of the South Pacific Fertilizers (SPF) Board claiming heavy handed attitude of Fiji Sugar Corporation.
SPF is technically insolvent with more than 15 million dollars of debt to the Sugar Cane Growers Fund.
Our sources say Sharma’s resignation is hardly surprising given his failure to resolve basic problems facing farmers since taking up office in November 2008.
The sources add at a time when there is growing uncertainty for cane farmers, Sharma is now deserting them.