SUNBIZ

More Farmers Investing In Mechanical Harvesters

Given the Labasa problems of with cane cutters in the sugar industry, more and more farmers are shifting towards using mechanical cane harvesters. Sugar Cane Growers Council says they have
15 Jun 2015 11:33
More Farmers Investing In Mechanical Harvesters
Cane farmer, Kumar Sami Naidu, with his Mechanical Harvester on his farm in Wailevu, Labasa. Photo: PENI DRAUNA

Given the Labasa problems of with cane cutters in the sugar industry, more and more farmers are shifting towards using mechanical cane harvesters.

Sugar Cane Growers Council says they have seen this year in Rarawai Mill area that growers had successfully formed three co-operatives through which they have secured mechanical harvesters.

These are expected to be in operation from this season. The investments come at the backdrop of Fiji Sugar Corporation’s investment in mechanical harvesters in the past season.

Council chief executive, Sundresh Chetty, says there are some more farmers who are investing in mechanical harvesters individually.

Kumar Sami Naidu, 70, a cane farmer in Wailevu, Labasa, is one such individual who has invested in a mechanical harvester.

The mechanical harvester was bought for him by his daughter residing in Australia now.

Mr Naidu said he was given this to assist him with harvesting as labourers were found to be too expensive.

“Last year I used labourers to harvest my cane and it took two to three months to harvest the entire 28 acres,” he said.

But with the new machine to assist him this season, Mr Naidu believes it will take him lesser time to harvest the cane on his farm.

He also then hopes to rent it out to other farmers to also help harvesting with their cane.

Mr Naidu noted that if the machine is hired by farmers around Labasa, the cost is $21 per tonne plus additional charges for the farm location.

Some farmers from Vuinika, Buceisau and Tabucola in Labasa have already booked his mechanical harvester for this season.

Mr Naidu said last year his farm produced more than 900 tonnes of cane for which he managed to get around $75,000.

Mr Naidu said this year he aimed to boost his tonnage and rake in more income.

Charan Jeath Singh, a renowned businessman hailing from the North, also owns three cane farms in Labasa.

He also expects to harvest around 1250 tonnes of cane from his cane farms using the mechanical harvesters.

The Labasa Mill opens for cane processing this Wednesday.

Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 


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