CANE growers faced with poor or damaged rail systems will receive conversion to lorry transport.
This assurance was given by Fiji Sugar Corporation's executive chairman Abdul Khan at a consultative forum organised by the Ministry of Sugar for industry stakeholders and farmers in Ba on Tuesday.
Mr Khan was responding to concerns raised by sugarcane farmers from Tavua that efforts made by growers to deliver harvested crop to the Rarawai Mill were hampered by poor rail infrastructure and equipment.
Dharam Singh from Dramasi Sector raised the issue saying poor rail systems had resulted in increasing standover cane tonnage over the past few years.
"In 2009, Tavua recorded 5000 tonnes of standover cane and this increased to 15,000 in 2011," he said.
"If the rail infrastructure and locomotive availability is an issue, then FSC has to provide us with lorry conversion.
"Cane farmers in Tavua cannot meet lorry transport charges from Tavua to Rakiraki alone because of the distance and high charges levied." He said farmers in Tavua were appreciative of the government's efforts to revitalise the industry by providing grants and interest-free loans to boost production.