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Fiji Time: 1:49 AM on Monday 21 April

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Standover cane remains an issue after mill closing

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, December 06, 2012

FARMERS taking stock of standing crop in the Lautoka and Nadi areas have noted a large amount of standover cane in the Nawaicoba sector.

Fiji Kisan Sangh general secretary and Fiji Cane Lorry Operators Association president Mahendra Prasad said Nawaicoba was unfortunate because of its location and a number of issues that plagued the cane farming area.

"They had a lot of problems beginning with a lack of canecutters and then there were issues with the cane access roads not being repaired on time," he said.

"Finally, when the canecutters were found, they had problems with the very high transportation charges because of the distance of the cane farms to the Lautoka mill."

Mr Prasad said it was imperative that the issues facing the Nawaicoba farmers be discussed at length to ensure standover cane did not continue to be an issue.

"They have enough standover cane to supply the Lautoka mill for one month.

"It is not a small amount of cane and that is why stakeholders need to discuss how best problems facing growers and transport operators can be sorted out for the benefit of the industry."

Crushing at the Lautoka mill drew to a close on Tuesday with the FSC citing poor cane supply as the reason for closing proceedings one day earlier than the previously announced December 5 closing date.