SUNBIZ

Rains Enhance Cane Planting

Recent rains throughout the cane belts in the western and northern divisions have seen an increase in cane planting. Fiji Sugar Corporation chief operating officer Navin Chandra said the company
11 Dec 2017 12:51
Rains Enhance Cane Planting
Fiji Sugar Corporation chief operating officer Navin Chandra (fifth from left) at a sugarcane field. Photo: Charles Chambers

Recent rains throughout the cane belts in the western and northern divisions have seen an increase in cane planting.

Fiji Sugar Corporation chief operating officer Navin Chandra said the company was encouraged by the latest results in the 2017 cane planting process.

Cane planting was hindered soon after crushing ended in November at all three mills following a prolonged drought.

The dry weather caused delays in crop replanting and also stifled the growth of cane plants already planted.

“FSC field managers and officers have been liaising with their various growing sectors and settlements, almost on a daily basis to check on the progress of the planting.”

Mr Chandra has been visiting growers in the western and northern cane belts areas, to engage with them and check on cane planting progress.

“The  result has been reassuring.

“Complemented with good rainfall over the last few weeks, growers’ planting efforts have been greatly enhanced and the 2018 crush is looking very optimistic.

“We have been pleased with our efforts in grower engagement this planting season, which is showing good progress in cane planting.

“We thank the growers for their efforts thus far. Although we have some more time to finish, it’s pleasing to see the momentum and the resurging confidence.”

Up until October, a total of 2637 hectares (ha) of sugar cane had been planted.

This figure increased significantly to 4213 ha by early this month, a 60 per cent increase in cane planting efforts.

“This has been a direct result of the favourable rainy weather which is conducive to cane planting,” Mr Chandra said.

Sector performance

Additionally there has been a more concerted and aggressive effort this year from the field team under Mr Chandra leadership and guidance in micro-managing individual field sector performance on a daily basis.

“Our biggest opportunity to grow our yield is addressing gaps in the fields.

“However because the weather has been particularly great with good rainfalls recorded, it is now conducive carry out gap filling.”

Mr Chandra said FSC has advised its field managers and officers to continue to work with the growers to ensure their fertiliser levels were well stocked.

“There are areas where the growers can still capitalise on fertilisers to enhance their planting efforts, whilst we can still capitalise on the rainy season.”

Another crucial area of cane development is ratoon management.

“We are working continuously with our field teams and the grower community to ensure we are optimising our ratoon planting.”

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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