SUGAR industry stakeholders say they will work hard to ensure there is no harvestable standover cane left at the end of the season.
Permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi made this statement after it was revealed that 250,000 tonnes of standover cane was recorded last season.
Lt-Col Vaniqi said after extensive discussions with growers and the Fiji Sugar Corporation, the Sugar Ministry had come to realise the complexity of sugar production and was now better versed to effectively implement reforms.
"We have seen improvements in performance at all the mills with tonnes cane to tonnes sugar (TCTS) averaging 10.6 which is a significant improvement over the last few year's figures," he said.
Sugar Industry Tribunal industrial commissioner Timothy Brown said while all the mills had reported improvements, issues with the rail system at Rarawai were recognised and being addressed.
Cane growers had raised concerns earlier in the week that slow rail cart turnaround had resulted in cane cutters leaving farms because of the low income with many working between three to four days a fortnight.
"We have addressed that issue two days ago by bringing growers reps and FSC together. We admit the rail system in Rarawai is not working and this is due to silt damage caused by the floods.
"But the intention is to transport as much cane as possible to the mill — we will look at lorry conversion for some areas."