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High Expectations For Labasa Sugar Mill

The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is expecting the Labasa mill to crush 700,000 tonnes of cane this year. FSC’s chief operating officer Navin Chandra said their target for this year
21 Jun 2018 15:28
High Expectations For Labasa Sugar Mill

The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is expecting the Labasa mill to crush 700,000
tonnes of cane this year.
FSC’s chief operating officer Navin Chandra said their target for this year is to
nationally reach over 1.75 million tonnes of cane.
During the opening of the Labasa mills 2018 crushing season on Tuesday Mr
Chandra said this is something that they have not achieved for a while now.
“We want to exceed 200,000 tonnes of sugar this year at a Tonnes Cane to
Tonnes Sugar (TCTS) of 8.5 so that we can sell,” Mr Chandra said.
“Labasa mill is the first to begin with crushing this year.
“Labasa mill is back on track and I am sure we can meet our targets.
“The key thing for us is to crush cane within the limited time and also get the
best quality supply of cane to the mill.
“For next year our nationwide target is to achieve over 2.2 million tonnes of
cane.
“In Labasa we have over 4,000 growers and in total for the country there are 11,
296,” Mr Chandra said.
“In terms of the output, Labasa mill is higher compared to other mills.
“And in terms of the number of farmers in total Labasa is proportionally high.
“I think most of the people’s livelihood in Labasa depends on the sugar
industry.”
In terms of capital projects Mr Chandra said they had spent over $7 million this
year for Labasa mill.
“It is very important that we continuingly invest in our mills,” he said.
“We want our mills to perform better every year.
“There is nothing that can stop Labasa mill from performing.”
Market
“Our marketing and selling last year was good, and we sold almost all sugar,”
he added.
“At the moment I believe our warehouse is almost empty.
“As for the new markets, one has confirmed that is the Chinese market after a
long time.
“Obviously we need to look at the best price now.
“We are in the global market where we need to compete and get the best price.
“With the guidance of our chief executive officer Graham Clark and the
marketing team they are looking at new markets coming through so that we can
get the best price and best return for our sugar.”
Labour Shortage
The Fiji Sugar Corporation had already begun finding solutions to the labour
shortage in Fiji.
FSC’s chief operating officer Navin Chandra confirmed they are working with
the Methodist Church of Fiji to rectify the labour shortage.
The Methodist Church’s Ra circuit will allocate 400 cutters this year.
“We are also looking at other church circuits as well and any other church
groups or communities that could be part of such a programme,” Mr Chandra
said.
“The other opportunity that we have is to work with the Fiji Corrections
Service.
“We have met with the deputy commissioner last week and he had confirmed
that a group will go out to cut cane.
“We have also started talking with the provincial administrators.
“We are looking at all options and in terms of getting cutters from overseas that
is in a longer term,” he said.
“Obviously at the end of the day we want our local people to work and to give
them an opportunity to earn income for the church group or community hall or
for their families.”
“There are approximately 60 mechanical harvesters in the country.
“That will help us quite a lot.”



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