SUNBIZ

Crushing Could End In October, Says Vegnathan

Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) Labasa Mill is expected to complete the 2021 crushing season in the next six to seven weeks, Assistant Minister for Sugar George Vegnathan said. He said
27 Aug 2021 11:10
Crushing Could End In October, Says Vegnathan
The Fiji Sugar Corporation Labasa Mill in operation. Photo: Shratika Naidu.

Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) Labasa Mill is expected to complete the 2021 crushing season in the next six to seven weeks, Assistant Minister for Sugar George Vegnathan said.

He said Tropical Cyclone Yasa on December 17, 2020, and Tropical Cyclone Ana on January 31, 2021 had a devastating effect on cane production in the greater area of Labasa.

“As a result, cane production will be low in Labasa while other districts have shown an increase this year,” Mr Vegnathan said.

“The final closing date will be announced by the Sugar Tribunal, and this of course depends on good weather and consistent cane supply to the mill.”

To date, the three sugar mills have maintained a good weekly crushing rate, Mr Vegnathan said.

 

Lautoka Mill has completed over 40 per cent, Rarawai Mill over 30 per cent, while Labasa Mill has crushed 55 per cent of the total cane.

Mr Vegnathan said assistance provided by Government to sugarcane farmers lifted the morale of the farmers.

“We have noted keen interest and dedication to sugarcane farming in the Western Division,” he said.

“The overall sugarcane production for 2022 is expected to be much higher, if spared by natural disasters.”

Meanwhile, burnt cane harvest is on the rise, proving a big worry for the sugar industry.

 

FSC needs fresh green cane to produce maximum sugar recovery.

“I urge farmers to refrain from burning cane, since there is still ample time to finish your harvesting,” Mr Vegnathan.

“The mills are running.”

“Therefore, there is no need to panic.”

“Burnt cane delivered to the mill takes longer time to process, because of the impurities.”

“This will affect the whole chain of operation right down to farmers who will experience delays in getting quotas.”

 

Feedback: shratikan@fijisun.com.fj



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