SUGARCANE growers and lorry operators in the Western Division have expressed concern that cane access roads may not be upgraded in time for the start-of-crush in early June as announced by the Fiji Sugar Corporation recently.
They are concerned with the road upgrading issue because of the rainy weather experienced in recent weeks.
Fiji Cane Lorry Operators Association president, Mahendra Prasad said growers and lorry owners did not want a repeat of what happened last year.
"We need to engage in discussions with all the relevant sugar industry stakeholders to see which are the priority areas and work out a way to address the repairs to these roads," he said.
"A lot of areas were affected by the heavy rain and a lot of roads in low-lying areas are in a very bad state.
"We are all part of the sugar industry and we all need to work together to ensure we have a good season this year."
Sugar Cane Growers Council's acting chief executive officer, Sundresh Chetty said repairs to cane access roads would be conducted more efficiently and swiftly this season.
"Cane access funding has been allocated to the Sugar Ministry and the SCGC and FSC will be directly involved in upgrading works going forward," he said.
"We will be calling for expressions of interest for contractors to conduct these works soon."
Mr Chetty said repairs to cane access roads would have to wait until the weather cleared.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama announced an allocation of $2million for cane access road rehabilitation during the 2013 National Budget announcement last year.
Among reforms put in place to streamline activities in the industry was the establishment of the cane access road committee to prioritise and oversee road rehabilitation.
The committee is headed by the Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki.