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Fiji Time: 6:42 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Reform to improve productivity

Luke Rawalai
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

THE sugar industry is under reform in order to improve productivity and the industry.

Sugar Tribunal Commissioner Timothy Brown said that as part of these reforms efforts were being made to set up new legislation to determine a better structure for the industry.

Mr Brown said the reforms which started last year included ensuring all mills around the country were efficient and producing a maximum TCTS of 10 compared to the previous year's 12. "However, according to our calculations this means that a farmer on average produced 40 tonnes last year which is a disgrace to world standards," he said.

"We are focusing on bringing this up to world standards in the next five years to 47 tonnes per farmer so that we can meet the demand from our markets. We want farms to be commercially viable so that we can compete with other sugar markets internationally."

Mr Brown said their tour of the north would include talking to farmers on how they could improve their sugarcane yield to upgrade productivity.

"We are taking up the Prime Minister's challenge that the sugar industry is here to stay," he said.