THE Fiji Sugar Corporation will develop sugarcane planting programs on its various estates in 2013 in a bid to boost production levels.
Executive chairman Abdul Khan said while FSC had achieved huge success in terms of milling efficiency, cane production still remained a stumbling block in the industry's development plans.
"The biggest challenge is sugarcane. If I don't have sugarcane and have gold plated machinery, it's not going to work. So sugarcane is my biggest challenge — getting good quality cane and lots of it," he said.
He said in light of low production and intermittent supply issues, FSC was engaging in talks with landowning units and youth groups in the Western Division to go into partnerships on cane plantations with the view to increasing production to a satisfactory level.
"There has been a lot of interest shown from a number of different organisations to get involved in sugarcane production and we expect more people will come on board as the sugar price increases.
"There has been interest by land owning units and youth groups among others," he said. Mr Khan said he was optimistic that 2013 would see more improvements as the industry moved forward.
"Looking forward, I think we'll have a better season next year. Our aim is to make another step change — both in terms of extraction and in improving the quality of cane coming through."