SOME cane growers claim they have been overcharged for equipment hire, especially by mechanical harvester owners during the cane harvesting season.
This has prompted sugar industry stakeholders to purchase a $1.5million harvester to assist the farmers by hiring it out at a reasonable cost as opposed to charges levied by private operators.
Sugar Cane Growers Council acting chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty said the new machine would first be used as a pilot project before being hired out to farmers.
"We have noticed that some farmers are being overcharged by private mechanical harvester owners and this is one of the main reasons of buying a harvester," Mr Chetty said.
"The new machine will first be used as a pilot project in one of the farms before we can adopt or determine the charges for farmers.
"The main objective behind this initiative is to increase the yield productivity and decrease the cost.
"This is also being done to encourage more farmers to invest in the industry, which will in a way boost the economy."
Mr Chetty said a lot of constructive criticisms were received from farmers.