THE FSC has forecast a total cane production of 1.8 million tonnes for the 2014 season — but corporation extension services manager Samuela Railoa has challenged canegrowers in Lomawai near Sigatoka to help the industry increase production to two million tonnes instead.
"This is not impossible," Mr Railoa said.
"If we can produce 2 million tonnes of cane then we are looking at a total sugar production of 200,000 tonnes. Getting our production up will assist the industry become more competitive in the global market."
Mr Railoa encouraged farmers to use skills and knowledge imparted by Tate and Lyle Sugars expert Dan Boodhna during his term with the FSC.
"A lot of what Mr Boodhna was encouraging you to do were skills that your forefathers used — like mixing lime into the soil to reduce acidity — that have been forgotten over the years."
Mr Railoa said the government had assisted the industry recover from certain collapse and the Sugar Action Plan that was being implemented would only work if canegrowers worked with industry stakeholders.
"As majority stakeholders in the industry, it is really up to you to make this industry the success that it can be."
In a bid to increase new cane production, the government had converted into a grant the $8.4million budget allocation to the sugar industry.