ABOUT 10,000 tonnes of the maindun cane variety in Seaqaqa, Macuata will not be crushed this season.
This was relayed to field workers during their meeting with Sugar Ministry permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi in Labasa yesterday.
Speaking at the meeting, Labasa-based Fiji Sugar Corporation Cane logistic officer Navitalai Masinivuya said about 10,000 tonnes of maindun cane would not be crushed as it had been classed as an "unapproved variety".
Mr Masivanua said of that, 80 tonnes had been rejected by the mill.
He said the maindun variety was introduced in the 1970s under the Seaqaqa Scheme and was grown mainly in the area.
"It has been reported that maindun does not produce enough sugar so we have classed the variety as unapproved," Mr Masivanua said. "It is the duty of field workers to go out and inform farmers of the unapproved variety because they keep bringing it in and we have rejected the variety."
The rejection of cane has not gone down well with farmers who raised their concerns with the National Farmers Union.
NFU president Surendra Lal said the decision was unfair as farmers were only informed but not supported or supplied with other cane variety to replace the unapproved maindun variety. He said farmers had lost out financially.
Lt-Col Vaniqi however said the farmers in Seaqaqa were informed a few years ago and support was given by FSC. He said farmers were told the maindun variety would be classed as "unapproved" this year and they should have planted other varieties of cane.
Mr Lal said the forecast was about $56 but a farmer would receive about $15 per tonne after all deductions were made for lease, fertiliser, labour costs and lorry costs.
"We visited the area yesterday and some farmers have about 3000 tonnes of maindun variety standing in their farms and they don't know what to do," Mr Lal said.
"How will they meet with payments if their cane is not harvested? Most of them are worried and it's not an easy experience for them.
"This will mean the group of farmers who have a total of 3000 tonnes of cane will lose out about $45,000 after deductions. If one cane farmer has about 300 tonnes of cane, he is expected to lose about $4000 after deductions," Mr Lal said.