SUNBIZ

Labasa Mill To Close For Season This Sunday

The Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Labasa Mill close for the season this Saturday. This was confirmed by the Fiji Industrial Commissioner for Sugar Industry Tribunal Timothy Brown yesterday. He said the
20 Oct 2015 10:14
Labasa Mill To Close For Season This Sunday
Sugarcane labourers from Cakaudrove Province harvesting sugarcane for a sugarcane farmer in Wailevu, Labasa yesterday.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Labasa Mill close for the season this Saturday.
This was confirmed by the Fiji Industrial Commissioner for Sugar Industry Tribunal Timothy Brown yesterday.
He said the Tribunal has already advertised in Fiji Sun during the weekend that Labasa FSC mill will be closed on October 24.
We understand cane farmers in the Labasa have requested for the dates to be extended.
But Mr Brown said this was not possible.
“The Labasa Mill was supposed to be closed on October 17 but we extended it to another one week,” Mr Brown said.
“Farmers need to work together with FSC and make good use of the remaining days. Extension of crushing season would not be given.”
Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive Sundresh Chetty confirmed he has received numerous phone calls from Labasa farmers requesting the extension of crushing season.
“Farmers told me that there are lot of cane to be harvested and recent bad weather condition has affected their work,” he said.
“Currently, I am investigating and monitoring the supply and balance of cane keeping in mind the requests made by farmers.
“I will soon have a discussion with Mr Brown and Sugar Acting Permanent Secretary Viliame Gucake,” he said.
When Fiji Sun contacted Mr Gucake, he confirmed that he received calls from farmers informing him that there are still acres of cane to be harvested.
He said the farmers requested for the extension of Labasa Mill operation.
“Since the Tribunal has advertised in the Fiji Sun and made announcement on the closure of mill, nothing much can be done,” Mr Gucake said.
“Mr Chetty has given me a call to have discussion on this.”
Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan said FSC was making sure to process all the available cane in the given time.
“Taking weather into consideration, we have approximately 20,000 metric tonnes of cane still to process provided the farmers bring this to the mill as quickly as possible,” Mr Khan said.
“As of Monday morning, we have processed just over 617,000 metric tonnes of sugarcane at an average rate of over 5500 metric tonnes per day.
“At times, we have processed over 6500 metric tonnes per day, based on the cane being available and the mill running consistently.”
Meanwhile, cane processing at the Penang Mill in Rakiraki ended on Saturday October 10.
Crushing continues at the Lautoka and Rarawai mills and leftover cane in Rakiraki can be taken to either of the nearest mills.

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