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Farmers To Be Compensated For Any Mill Breakdown

Farmers To Be Compensated  For Any Mill Breakdown
Trucks waiting to offload cane at Rarawai sugar mill on July 17, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra
July 18
14:45 2018

Farmers affected by any breakdown of a sugar mill will be compensated.

This was confirmed by the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) chief executive officer Graham Clark after the recent breakdown at the Lautoka sugar mill had affected many farmers and other stakeholders.

The assistance programme was announced by the Mr Clark yesterday.

Mr Clark said the welfare of the farmers, lorry drivers and other key stakeholders was vital therefore undertaking an assessment of the situation led them to come up with a contingency plan.

“There had been a request from the farmers to have a look at the impact of that on their operations,” Mr Clark said.

“We understand that farmers have to employ cane-cutters, they have to incur costs of food, and they have their lorry drivers.

“If you break the chain, there is a cost of that on the operations.

“After the Lautoka mill breakdown, we undertook an assessment as to how we could assist the farmers,” he said.

“We have come up with an assistance programme which will compensate for the financial costs incurred due to a mill breakdown.

“In respect of any notification by FSC of a mill breakdown that will be for longer than six hours, we will institute a formal assessment of the situation which would be jointly carried out by FSC staff and affected cane farmers.

“Then we will determine the volume of any affected cane, the impact in each sector, in the cane yard, and lorry drivers waiting to offload.

“Based on this, a break down penalty will be paid by FSC at a rate of $5 per tonne of affected cane.

“This will be paid by FSC in the normal cane payment system,” he stated.

Mr Clark said this would address the many hardships faced by farmers during mill breakdowns.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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