SUNBIZ

Sugarcane Farmer Praises Budget

Sugar cane grower Premila Devi hailed the 2021-2022 National Budget. Ms Devi said the $85 per tonne guaranteed price for sugar would assist the farmers for the season. “While previously
04 Aug 2021 11:10
Sugarcane Farmer Praises Budget
From left: Labourer Ratu Meli, Drasa Mechanical Harvester Gang 57 leader Lalit Kumar, Dakshay Prasad, cane grower Premila Devi, chief operator of the mechanical harvester Jagat Gosai, machine operator Ronil Chand and machine assistant operator Nilesh Chand. Photo: Shreya Kumar

Sugar cane grower Premila Devi hailed the 2021-2022 National Budget.

Ms Devi said the $85 per tonne guaranteed price for sugar would assist the farmers for the season.

“While previously we were skeptical regarding harvesting because of the average forecast price, harvesting now is done in full force,” she said.

“Farmers are now more motivated to harvest their cane.”

Ms Devi said she was expecting to harvest around 600 tonnes of cane from her 18-acre farm in Naviyago, Lautoka.

“Since I use a mechanical harvester on my farm, it would take me only two days to completely harvest my cane.”

Ms Devi is hopeful she would retain her title of having the most tonnage of harvest in her district. Ms Devi is part of Drasa Mechanical Harvester Gang 57.

Drasa Mechanical Harvester Gang 57 leader Lalit Kumar said the gang was looking forward to harvest 17000 tonnes of cane in total.

“We have 93 farmers,” he said.

Mr Kumar said the per tonne guaranteed price of sugar was reasonable.

 

COVID-19 protocols
Mr Kumar said 100 per cent of the farmers in his gang had received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination.

“There are some in the gang who have also received second doses, so we look forward to reach 100 per cent full vaccination.”

 

Delays
Mr Kumar said the farmers had faced some hiccups in harvesting because of the Lautoka mill breakdown earlier.

“Our quota was also less, plus our lorry turnover time is close to 18 hours,” he said.

“We are harvesting 1500 tonnes of cane per fortnight, as opposed to the 3000 tonnes of cane we would normally harvest within the same period.”

Meanwhile, Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Vimal Dutt has advised cane growers to send their grievances to the council so it can be dealt with in an efficient and timely manner.

 

Feedback: shreya.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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