SUNBIZ

Labasa Rice Mill To Be Finalised Soon

Rewa Rice Limited is hoping to finalise the detailed plans of its proposed Labasa rice mill and its rebranding with the Permanent Secretary of Public Enterprises Shaheen Ali soon. Company
11 Feb 2015 09:07
Labasa Rice Mill To Be Finalised Soon
Rice farm

Rewa Rice Limited is hoping to finalise the detailed plans of its proposed Labasa rice mill and its rebranding with the Permanent Secretary of Public Enterprises Shaheen Ali soon.

Company mill manager Ashrit Pratap said the meeting is to take place in Suva tomorrow and would be centred on the new mill proposal and the rebranding of the company.

Rewa Rice is a Government commercial company and its core services are to purchase and mill paddies supplied by the farmers and market milled rice.

“There is an allocation of $1.8 millon for the rice industry revival and the mill funding is coming from there,” Mr Pratap said.

“We have collected all the quotes, proposals and we also selected a mill supplier from China. The mill will cost us about $500,000 that is for the building, infrastructure and everything.

“Together with it, we have requested for new trucks and we have called for new tenders because we want to change our trucks.”

He noted there would be two trucks available for sales and delivery and the second truck would be used for picking up paddies from the farmers home and farms.

The company offers the free pickup of paddies service free of charge to the farmers.

“Even if the new proposed mill is built in Labasa we will still offer it for free.

He said the new mill would mean more employment would be created as a new set of people would be offered jobs at the proposed new mill.

 

Challenges

Mr Pratap highlighted one of the main challenges they face was the supply of rice paddies.

“The biggest challenge would be the supply side because at the moment the Ministry of Agriculture’s forecast is 2000 tonnes of rice paddies to be produced by farmers in Labasa for 2015,” he said.

“This is to ensure that rice is supplied smoothly in the market. If the all goes well and the farmers meet the target then definitely we will have good operations.”

Another challenge they face is the lack of storage space for the paddies.

“During this rainy season, some of these farmers produce huge amount of paddies but they don’t have the storage place,” he said.

“Because the Dreketi Mill is old and a lot of maintenance work is being done to keep it operational, we need a new mill to cater for the production.

“They need the mill up and running 24 hours so that their produce is well taken care of by the company.”

Rewa Rice produces 40 tonnes of rice monthly. It has more than 500 farmers who are supplying paddies.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 



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