THE Fiji Sugar Corporation is confident of meeting the targeted production of 1.9 million tonnes of sugarcane this season despite recent setbacks caused by inconsistent supply to the Lautoka and Penang mills.
FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan said meeting the forecast production figure would be a challenge fraught with many issues like inconsistent supply, inclement weather and cane quality and harvesting problems.
"I think that inconsistent cane supply is our biggest issue because it has the potential to cause problems in our mills," he said.
"Once we start playing with the production rate of our mills because we don't have enough supply, I get very nervous because our machines are prone to problems. This leads to increased costs for FSC and the industry as a whole."
Mr Khan said some cane from Tavua that was predestined for the Rarawai mill in Ba was now being diverted to Penang as an interim measure.
"Supply to the Rakiraki mill is still an issue and while we have started shifting some Tavua cane to Penang, we want to find out the best and most economical way to get supply normalised," he said.
Sugar permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi said the biggest issues affecting supply — cane access roads — was being addressed and cane delivery to all mills should normalise as road rehabilitation works progressed.