The Australian government has unveiled a A$444m (US$316.9m) aid package for the country’s struggling sugar industry.

Deputy Prime Minster John Anderson said the package included $146m to help growers and millers out of immediate problems and grants of up to $100,000 to encourage people to leave the beleaguered industry, reported Reuters.

Low world prices and poor crops and harvests have severely damaged Australia’s sugar industry, which was also left out of a recent free trade deal with the US.

“This is an incredibly important industry that has suffered immensely because of a corrupted world market taking the world price to below the cost of production,” Anderson was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“But I have faith that the industry, in partnership with the government, will recover in the medium to long term,” he added.

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