Business

Labasa mill has concerns on sugar crushing

By JOELENE TUIMOALA Lack of cane supply in the weekends has led the Labasa Sugar Mill to approach Government to consider getting mechanical sugarcane harvesters for next cane crushing season.
07 Oct 2012 09:47

By JOELENE TUIMOALA

Lack of cane supply in the weekends has led the Labasa Sugar Mill to approach Government to consider getting mechanical sugarcane harvesters for next cane crushing season.
Labasa Sugar Mill manager, Karia Christopher, made this suggestion to the Permanent Secretary for Provincial Development and Disaster Management, Lieutenant-Colonel Inia Seruiratu.
Mr Christopher stressed one of the biggest challenges faced by the Labasa mill next year would be ensuring consist cane crushing during the weekend – a challenge already this crushing season.
He said the major problem was with cane harvesters who usually rested on Sundays and as a result, the mill suffered with shortage of cane supply on Mondays for crushing.
Mr Christopher is alternatively asking Government to look into getting relevant machineries from abroad to help in harvesting.
“We are asking the Government if they could look into this issue and if help could be sought from China or Japan to provide us with relevant machineries that could help us in harvesting cane,” he said.
“One way this could be solved in the usage of mechanical harvesters. Or, if cane cutters could be brought from Seventh Day church, so they could cut cane on Sundays.”
With only two weeks left till the end of the crushing season at the Labasa Mill, Mr Christopher said they needed to see there was consistency in the supply of cane to the mill during the weekend.
“The weekly report of manufacturing is very bad; it affects the quality and also efficiency of the mill. It also reflects what’s out there in the field,” he said.
“We are relying on what the field can supply and that is affecting our ability to make sugar.
“There is really low supply of cane crushed by the mill and so we have to slow down the mill,” he said.
“So here lies our biggest challenge for next year. This year is gone; we only have two more weeks to go.
“There is a need to work on this next year. But I can say we are very lucky in this area as compared to the Western mills which are far worse off.
“We have highlighted this to our Commissioner; we have also talked to our Provincial Administrators about this. All the mills suffer from this problem, because of Sunday harvest.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Seruiratu visited the Labasa Mill on Friday accompanied by his commissioners from Viti Levu to look into ways they could develop the North.




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