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Fiji Time: 11:02 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Impact will be evident later

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, December 22, 2012

TROPICAL Cyclone Evan's impact on the sugar industry will not be known for some time.

Sugar permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi revealed that because of the nature of sugar cane, the impact on crop production will not be immediately evident.

"While we acknowledge that sugar cane is a very resilient crop, the full effect of the cyclone will be known in six or seven months time," he said.

"Newly-planted cane is much more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions while ratoon crops are more likely to survive inclement or adverse weather."

Lt-Col Vaniqi said an extensive survey would be conducted to ascertain the full extent of TC Evan on the sugar industry which would be looking at mills and plantations.

"We will also be assessing the damage to farmers' homes, apart from issues at mills and out in the cane fields.

"This is the only way we can truly fathom the extent of damage caused by this cyclone. Right now it is too early to put a monetary value but this will be done at the completion of the survey."

Lt-Col Vaniqi urged cane growers to begin planting and preparing their land in earnest to ensure crop production was maintained despite the setback brought about by TC Evan.