Cane to sugar ratio ‘high’

Fiji Sugar Corporation employee Uraia Vota with his team clears the railway tracks in preparation for the Sugar Cane harvesting Season in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FILE

THE Ministry of Sugar is closely monitoring the production of sugar after reports that Fiji Sugar Corporation crushes 13.3 tonnes of cane to produce one tonne of sugar (TC:TS).

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Yogesh Karan, told farmers in Labasa yesterday that such TC:TS was quite high. The farmers received government grant to assist them with cane farming business.

“We are putting a lot of pressure on FSC and closely monitoring the TC:TS and have had meetings with the FSC CEO and we need to get back to good standards of TC:TS,” he said.

“Government will continue to assist farmers with reasonable grant to fund farmers’ needs with cane farms.

“In 2016, we had two privately owned harvesters in Fiji, but this year, within a short period of time, we have a total of 72 harvesters.”

Government, he added, would also assist farmers in purchasing planting machines.

“We have harvesters and we also plan to introduce the planting machines to assist farmers because the industry is also becoming mechanised.

“Harvesters in the cane farms are not new and we should have got these machines long time back knowing that the industry is almost 100 years old.”

Mr Karan ended his visit to the North yesterday.

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