No lower than $85

CANEFARMERS in the North want a minimum cane price of $85.

As part of his submissions to the Fiji Sugar Corporation Annual Award consultations in Labasa on Monday, Surendra Lal said that last year farmers were paid $88 for a tonne of their cane.

Mr Lal said with the global reduction of sugar price next year, they were concerned that prices of cane would be reduced.

“If the minimum price of cane is lower than $83, it is sad to say that farmers will not be able to survive and put food on their own tables,” he said.

“If the cane price is reduced to less then $83, the socioeconomic effects of these decrease on farmers would be really bad.”

Mr Lal also raised his concerns on the proceeds of revenue earned by the Fiji Sugar Corporation Mill in Labasa that reportedly amounted to $2.5million in 2013.

“We are concerned that none of this money was received by farmers and it is very unfair.

“Farmers supply cane which produces cane fibre used for the core generation plant and it is unfair that farmers do not get a return from the money made by the mill.

“We want 70 per cent shares from the revenue generated from the sale of electricity to FEA by FSC and it is only fair as laid down in the Master Award sharing formula.”

Mr Lal also raised his concern on the need to defer the cane quality payment system because there were a lot of factors out of the reach of farmers that affected cane quality before it reached the mill.

Consultations chairman Timothy Brown said the submissions would be taken into consideration.