THE cane quality payment system to be partially implemented this season will adopt a payment formula designed specifically for Fiji.
This was revealed by the acting Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty to Tavua farmers who participated in an industry stakeholder consultation earlier this week. "The near infra-red system that we are adopting is used quite extensively around the world," Mr Chetty said.
"We have ordered the equipment and expect delivery in June. The payment formula that will be used will be developed by Australian experts who will take into account all issues put forward by the growers."
During consultations held last year, West canegrowers voiced concerns about how the system would be implemented.
One of the major concerns raised was loss of cane quality when harvested crop is left in mill yards for days on occasions when mills break down.
"In the event that does happen, then obviously the Fiji Sugar Corporation will be responsible," Mr Chetty said.
"However, by the same token, if growers harvest cane without receiving a quota or advice from field officers and this is left in fields for a considerable amount of time, then the growers will have to bear that responsibility."
Prime Minister and Sugar Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama announced an allocation of $4.4 million for the establishment and implementation of a cane quality payment system during his 2013 National Budget address last year.
Until this year, Fiji was one of a handful of countries in the world where growers were paid on weight of cane instead of sugar content.