FOUR thousand farmers around the country did not produce any cane last year, says Sugar Tribunal Commissioner Timothy Brown.
Speaking at the Committee for Better Utilization of Land (CBUL) meeting in Labasa yesterday, Mr Brown said 12,632 farmers produced about 1.6 million tonnes of sugar last year.
Mr Brown said they would assign 2.9 million tonnes of cane to each contractor who would be issued with a sugarcane contract from the tribunal next year.
"So far, we have 6089 registered growers with the tribunal," he said.
"All the growers who were registered with us have been divided into their sectors and given a total lease area of 126,000 hectares leased under cane.
"The growers have been assigned to grow cane on 70,400 hectares."
Mr Brown said these were areas that could produce cane while others may not be suitable for the purpose.