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Bid to cut cane left in fields

Maciu Malo
Thursday, November 22, 2012

ABOUT 3000 tonnes of standover cane were not crushed in Rakiraki after the closure of the Penang mill last month.

Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty said growers failed to put in efforts to harvest the cane before the mill closure.

"Some growers leave their cane to be harvested in the last minute," he said.

"The 3000 tonnes standover cane is much lower compared to last year despite the damage caused by the January and March floods. In fact, the Penang mill had crushed 14,500 tonnes this season.

"Rakiraki growers are urged to make attempts at harvesting standover cane as this can be crushed at Rarawai mill, Ba."

Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan said the FSC and other sugar industry stakeholders would make attempts to harvest all standover cane.

"Our aim is to process all the sugar cane that is harvested and brought to the mills. With that in mind and as long as the farmers harvest and bring their cane to the mills, we should have no standover cane," said Mr Khan.

Mr Khan said he was optimistic that FSC would reach its target before the end of crushing at all the mills.

"We have so far produced 145,800 tonnes of raw sugar from 1,431,000 tonnes of sugar cane. Our projected production is above 160,000 tonnes of raw sugar.

"It is difficult to provide the total cost until all the sugarcane has been processed and we know how much sugar is produced.

"We had set ourselves a two-year target to bring the sugar extraction rate down to around 11 and so far we are sitting on 9.8 and likely to finish the season at around 10.5."

Mr Khan added the target for the next crushing season was to increase the sugarcane crop size and quality which would lead to increased production of raw sugar.





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