SUGAR Ministry permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi is calling for industry stakeholders to maintain honesty when faced with issues that directly affect cane growers.
"We need to be honest with what is happening," he said. "If something is wrong, then at least be honest enough to let the people that will be affected know what the issue is, how serious it is and how soon it will be before it is resolved."
Lt-Col Vaniqi was responding to reports that farmers supplying Rarawai mill in Ba were frustrated with that mill's operations.
Cane farmer Jain Kumar said growers were at a great disadvantage because of costs incurred when the mill was not operating.
"At least when the mill is working, the cost of paying for equipment hire and cane cutters is justified but when the mill breaks down, our costs do not stop," he said.
"We still have to pay and feed our labourers which places a huge burden on us. If there is a problem with the mill, then FSC should at least advise us what it is and how long it will be before it is fixed so that we can prepare ourselves better."
FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan, in an earlier interview with this newspaper, urged growers to be patient because Rarawai was going through teething issues and was only into its second week of crushing.
"Like all the other mills, we had anticipated some teething issues and once this is sorted the mill should be back in operation," he said.