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Rewa Rice Ltd Embrace New Technology To Boost Production

  Rewa Rice Limited in Vanua Levu is poised for better production this year after the commissioning of a new dryer yesterday. The new electronic dryer is five times faster
19 Feb 2016 10:51
Rewa Rice Ltd Embrace New Technology To Boost Production
Permanent Secretary for Public Enterprise David Kolitagane (fourth from the right) giving the keys to Rewa Rice Limited Mill Manager Ashrit Pratap (third from the right) during the handing over of two trucks at Rewa Rice Limited Mill in Dreketi, Vanua Levu yesterday. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU

 

Rewa Rice Limited in Vanua Levu is poised for better production this year after the commissioning of a new dryer yesterday.

The new electronic dryer is five times faster than the old kerosene dryer.

While officiating the event, Permanent Secretary for Public Enterprise David Kolitagane said the dryer would increase efficiency.

The new machine can dry up to six tons of rice paddies per day.

“The new dryer will increase RRL’s ability to purchase rice paddy and farmers will no longer have storage problems.”

The purchase and installation cost of the machine amounted to $21,000.

There are plans in place to totally phase out the use of kerosene dryers and invest in electronic dryers.

 

Handing over of two trucks

Two new trucks with a total cost of $178,000 were also handed over to the company.

RRL plans to use the five-tonne truck for rice sales in Labasa and delivery to Viti Levu while the three tonne truck will be mainly used to pick up paddy from farmers and delivery to Dreketi mill.

“These new trucks will replace 20-year old trucks which were plagued with frequent breakdowns and for which the company incurred high maintenance costs.”

Mr Kolitagane said that during truck breakdowns, paddy pick ups from farmers were delayed and at times, due to high moisture and in the rainy season, the paddy will be spoilt and will not be milled.

“Farmers in the end suffer,” he said.

“The new trucks should ease transportation problems and reduce costs for rice farmers as now Rewa Rice will take on the responsibility of transporting the rice paddy from the farms to the Dreketi mill,” Mr Kolitagane said.

“More importantly, farmers can focus on increasing their rice production without having to worry about how to get the paddy to Dreketi mill.”

The Fijian Government continues to support the industry through the provision of annual grant to RRL specifically for the purchase of rice paddy from farmers at a subsidised $650 to $750 per tonne.

The price is well above the market rate.

The Rewa Rice Limited mill is located in Muanidevo, Dreketi in the Province of Macuata, about 71 kilometres from Labasa Town.

Feedback:  shratika.naidu@fijisun.com.fj

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