CONTINUING disruption to sugar cane supply at the Lautoka and Rarawai mills has the Fiji Sugar Corporation seriously considering taking over the transportation system and some of the harvesting next season.
FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan said it was unfortunate that supply issues were continuing late into the season.
"In my opinion, if we took over the transportation side of things, we could hopefully better co-ordinate supply from farmers to us at the various mills," he said.
"Rather than transportation being in the hands of 12-15,000 farmers, FSC could control the supply coming in a more co-ordinated manner.
"Another issue that plagued the industry this season was the difficulty in enticing cane cutters to the fields, so rather than relying on cane cutters alone, we are looking at increasing mechanical harvesting where possible.
"Obviously we can't go totally mechanical due to issues with terrain in some areas but this could be addressed by getting tractor-driven harvesters such as those used in Australia."
Mr Khan said disruptions at any of the four mills resulted in huge costs to the FSC, with each stop-start costing up to and in excess of $40,000.
Meanwhile, crushing at the Penang Mill in Rakiraki ended on Thursday and stakeholders will meet today to discuss tentative dates for Lautoka and Rarawai.
"Due to the supply issues, we are not sure about actual crush termination dates, however, Lautoka could be closing anywhere between mid to late November while Rarawai is looking likely to be sometime in December," Mr Khan said.