THE sugar cane planting season for 2012 has been extended until the end of November.
Acting Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO Sundresh Chetty said the farmers' slow response prompted the extension.
"We are urgently requesting all growers to please continue to plant cane until the end of November instead of the end of this month," he said.
Mr Chetty said with the full utilisation of the Cane Development Revolving Fund (CDRF), stakeholders had expected a total new plant crop of 3800 hectares but actual planted crop was well below the target.
"We are urging growers who have applied for funds under the CDRF whose applications have been processed and approved to complete their planting programs," he said
"If they fail to plant this season, their allocated funds will be diverted to other potential growers on the waiting list."
Mr Chetty said under the CDRF interest-free loan scheme, cane growers are given 25 per cent of their respective loans upfront for land preparation but many had not started pre-planting programs.
He said the extension of the planting season was approved by the Sugar Industry Tribunal after consultations with the SCGC and the Fiji Sugar Corporation.