THE predominant cultivation of Mana cane in the country has been identified as one of the reasons for the unusually high tonnes-cane-to-tonnes sugar (TCTS) figures at the start of the crushing season every year.
Tate and Lyle sugar consultant Dan Boodhna said the importance of planting three varieties of cane — early, middle and late maturing — was critical if growers wanted to increase profits.
"Mana is a late-maturing cane. This is why we always see that at the start of the crushing season it takes up to 15 tonnes of cane to produce one tonne of sugar," he said.
"And as we move towards the end of the season, this decreases to nine tonnes."
Mr Boodhna said it was important for growers to adopt the three varieties that industry stakeholders had identified as the best for planting in Fiji.
"We have 60 nurseries conveniently located near cane growing areas that have the three varieties — early, mid and late maturing — that we are highlighting.
"We urge growers to visit these nurseries and purchase these seedlings because the cane quality payment system that is being introduced means that farmers will be paid based on sugar content and not on weight," he said.