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Labasa Project Big Crush: Christopher

Labasa Project Big Crush: Christopher
Fiji Sugar Corporation Labasa mill general manager Karia Christopher during the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) graduation at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa on July 20. Photo:SHRATIKA SINGH
July 23
11:16 2017

Fiji Sugar Corporation Labasa mill general manager Karia Christopher has projected double tonnes of cane supply compared to last year.

During the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) graduation at Friendly North Inn in Labasa on Thursday, Mr Christopher who was chief guest said last year they crushed 0.4 million tonnes of cane and this year they aim to get 0.8 million tonnes of cane.

“For next year we are projecting 1.0 million and from next five years and onwards we aiming to get 1.5 million tonnes of cane,” Mr Christopher said.

“In the 1980s and 1990s in the whole of Fiji we have processed 4.3 million tonnes of cane and we have produced more than half a million tonnes of sugar.

“We were at the very best height of the sugar industry.”

But from 1997 since the expiring of 99 years land leases Mr Christopher said crushing drastically declined to a point of doom and gloom.

“We had gone down to 400,000 tonnes of cane.

It was very hard to turn around.”

In the past (20 years ago) Labasa had produced 1.3 million tonnes of cane, Mr Christopher said.

“We had come down from 1.3 to 0.4 million. We were at the point of no return. Now we are turning the industry around and aiming to stabilise in the next five years,” Mr Christopher said.

He added that his team has met and partnered with landowners in the North who are facing difficulties in planting cane.

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