SUNBIZ

FSC: Cane Cutter Accommodation To Be Looked Into

  The Fiji Sugar Corporation  (FSC) would look into the construction of houses in each sugar farming sector to billet cane cutters brought in from other districts. Speaking during the
27 Jan 2019 13:02
FSC: Cane Cutter  Accommodation  To Be Looked Into
FSC

 

The Fiji Sugar Corporation  (FSC) would look into the construction of houses in each sugar farming sector to billet cane cutters brought in from other districts.

Speaking during the development of the National Sugar Industry Policy and Strategies consultations at FSC’s Navo Sector Office in Nadi yesterday, Corporation Chief Operating Officer Navin Chandra said this could be one of the many solutions for the harvesting problem.

The problems of harvesting and transportation has surfaced in all 19 consultations so far and has prompted suggestions on how this could be dealt with.

“We are looking at solutions on how we can have working gangs. We are trying one now in Veisaru Sector in Ba,” Mr Chandra said.

“FSC could then manage these gangs and hire them out to the farmers.

“We started that because we know what you struggle with in terms of labour.

“We are looking at setting up camps for labourers at different sectors.”

Mr Chandra agreed that harvesting and transportation costs were seriously affecting farmers financially and they were looking at ways to lessen the problem

“We need to control it”

Mr Chandra reiterated on what Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Ashneel Sudhakar said regarding agriculture land that was being turned into residential developments

“He has been come down hard on this and said he needed to be decisive and make a point that would reduce the subdivision of agriculture land to residential

Mr Chandra said within Navo sector in Nadi, 56 per cent of arable agriculture land was lying idle and there needed something to be done about it.

Meanwhile FSC CEO Graham Clark said the company was working closely with the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji (SRIF) on modern technology and the best way it could be applied to farms.

A cane farmer had queried why FSC had the best cane on their farms whereas other farmers did not.

Research Institute CEO Prem Naidu said FSC farms were good because they were well looked after with cleanliness, fertiliser applications and when it needed to be irrigated.

Mr Clark said the use of technology on farms would mean getting the work done more quickly.

FSC meanwhile confirmed they have already made 60 caged bins for the transportationof harvested sugarcane to the mill and 40 more were being made.

Mr Chandra said there were problems with harvesters sitting idle in the cane fields waiting for the arrival of trucks to cart the cane to the mill.

It was revealed that the introduction of caged bins would cost more for construction.

But in the long run it would work out cheaper for the farmers to transport can by rail.

Another major policy that was being looked at was the hire of laborers during the harvesting season.

The cost of labor to harvest a cane continued to rise each year and FSC said they were looking at different options on how to fix the problem.

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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