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Fiji Sun


Lautoka Mill Back In Business

Lautoka Mill Back In Business
June 16
10:21 2017

Investigations have been on-going into the discovery of a tyre in the diffuser scraper drum at the Lautoka Sugar Mill.

And farmers on the other hand have been urged to increase their harvesting of sugar cane to allow the mills to run continuously.

The Lautoka Sugar Mill began operations yesterday morning after been shut down for a day to repair the damage caused in the diffuser.

FSC chief operating officer, Navin Chandra said: “FSC is investigating the matter and nothing conclusive has come out.”

“Our team have been working around the clock to repair the machines,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty has urged all cane harvesting gangs and growers to try and arrange for their harvesting and delivery of cane to the mill.

He said: “While we know that there is shortage of cane cutters affecting but we would like to urge them to make every effort to try and arrange something to harvest so that they take advantage of the prevailing good weather conditions.

“Because if we start late with harvesting, then we are bound to get into the wet season and face more problems.”

Mr Chetty said it was better that cane was harvested now to reach maximum benefit out of the cane so that the maximum sugar can also be made.

“We have ensured that there is sufficient sugar for the first shipment” he said.

Mr Chetty said his plea to the growers is to try and arrange for cutters and lorry transport and try supply as much cane as possible.

“I understand that Labasa on average it would be about 50 per cent but for Lautoka Sugar Mill is below 50 per cent.

“But, as we know there was some mechanical issues with Lautoka Sugar Mill but now it’s been sorted out,” he said.

Mr Chetty said the Lautoka Sugar Mill has resumed crushing so their effort is to ensure that they have sufficient cane for crushing.

“The Labasa Sugar Mill is running out of cane every now and then even though the percentage has gone over 50 per cent.

“We need to ensure that at least 70 to 80 per cent of gang should be harvesting because the gangs have submitted the Memorandum of Gang Agreement (MOGA) forms but, harvesting has now begun in many areas,” he said.

Mr Chetty said the major issue is that there is shortage of the labour.

“But, at the end of the day, we still have to ensure that our cane is harvested and delivered to mill on time,” he said.

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