SLOW cane delivery, transportation issues, difficulties in enticing cane-cutters, minor problems at west mills and confusion over quota allocation has marked the start of the 2012 sugarcane crushing season.
Despite the challenges in the first week of crush, Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan said mills were back on track and cane supply was picking up and should normalise soon.
"As can be expected, we are going through a few teething problems in the first two weeks of crush but in general things are progressing well," he said.
"All mills are working well and cane supply is picking up. We have close to 58 per cent delivery, up from 47 per cent last week and we are expecting cane supply to normalise."
Meanwhile, concerns raised by growers supplying the Penang mill in Rakiraki that quotas were not being issued for Sunday were addressed by Mr Khan.
"We had made a decision not to issue quota on Sunday," he said.
"We are only issuing quota for Monday through to Saturday because past experience has proven that cane supply is very minimal on Sundays.
"However, if supply should pick up then we will issue quota again for Sunday delivery."
National Farmers Union Rakiraki representative Sanjeet Maharaj said growers were still hesitant and waiting to see how well the mill progressed.
"Penang mill was operating on a stop-start basis last week. Farmers don't want to fully commit and get canecutters to come in until they are sure that the mill is running well. Once their confidence builds up, cane supply should normalise," he said.
Fiji Cane Lorry Operators Association representative Mahendra Prasad said some lorry owners were facing severe financial difficulties trying to get their vehicles into operational order.