THE Fiji Sugar Corporation’s four mills have crushed 954,232 tonnes of cane and produced 100,118 tonnes of sugar at an average tonnes cane to tonnes sugar (TCTS) of 9.5 as of yesterday morning.
This compared to the 1,202,769 tonnes cane crushed during the same period last year where 100,498 tons sugar was produced at a TCTS ratio of 12.0.
Sugar permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi said the production was a milestone that represented 54 per cent of the estimated crop and 59 per cent of the estimated sugar.
He said the Labasa mill recorded the highest production and crushing during the past 13 weeks compared to the other three mills in the country.
“Labasa crushed 329,416 tonnes of cane and produced 35,489 tonnes of sugar at the ration of 9.3 TCTS while Lautoka crushed 268,tonnes of cane and produced 27,365 tonnes of sugar at the ration of 9.8 TCTS,” said Lt-Col Vaniqi.
“Penang mill recorded crushing 136,812 tonnes of cane to 14,823 tonnes on sugar at 9.2 TCTS with Rarawai mill crushing 219,094 tonnes of cane to 22,441 tonnes of sugar at the ration of 9.8 TCTS.
“This is a milestone and I would also add the collective efforts of the industry stakeholders from the farms, management and also the support of government all around.
“I think these made way for the achievement.”
Lautoka mill production manager Viliame Savou said another contributing factor for the production was that the four mills were operating efficiently.
“We don’t have backlogs of cane or delayed cane which is the major factors of cane production in previous years because the mills were continually breaking down,” Mr Savou said. “Now the four mills are operating smoothly and running well.
“We have cut down on plant and equipment breakdown in the mills; we are able to process cane at a much quicker rate.”