CRUSHING at the Lautoka Sugar Mill has been extended to December 5 to ensure that all harvestable cane in Ba and Lautoka was processed.
Initially, the mill was scheduled to terminate crushing tomorrow but Fiji Sugar Corporation's executive chairman Abdul Khan said the rescheduling was to ensure maximum quantity and production.
"The rationale is we could finish off the Lautoka cane and cane from Ba as well," he said.
"Rarawai began crushing quite late this season and we don't want to extend crushing at the mill beyond an acceptable date."
Mr Khan said Rarawai was expected to terminate crushing on December 25 as scheduled.
"We have already begun shifting cane from Ba to Lautoka at the rate of approximately 100 lorries a day which equates to 1000 tonnes of cane daily," he said.
FSC has agreed to pay a conversion of $10 per tonne for transportation from Rarawai to Lautoka, however growers still have to meet costs from their farms to the Rarawai Mill.
Growers supplying the Lautoka mill said the reschedule of termination of crush date was welcomed.
"We need more time because a lot of farmers in Lautoka, Nadi and Sigatoka were having a lot of problems with manpower and lately with the weather," said Fiji Kisan Sangh's assistant general secretary Mahendra Prasad.
"We thank the FSC for extending the termination date.
"This means that we can deliver maximum harvestable cane to the mill," said Mr Prasad, who is also the Fiji Cane Lorry Operators Association president.
Sugar Cane Growers Council acting chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty said poor performance of the Rarawai Mill over the past few days was also factored in to the rescheduling of the termination date.
Lautoka and Rarawai re expected to crush 1.021 million tonnes of cane this season and produce 102,000 tonnes of sugar.