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Assurance for farmers over payments

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SUGARCANE growers in the Western Division were reassured by Sugar Industry Tribunal commissioner Tim Brown that the demarcation of responsibility in regards to the cane quality payment system is clear.

Responding to concerns raised by farmers about the cane quality payment system and what will happen in the event of a mill breakdown, Mr Brown said every actor in the industry was aware of their role in the sugar-making process.

He said the responsibility would lie with the Fiji Sugar Corporation to make the necessary adjustments.

"The onus is on the miller to work out the degradation of cane quality while lorries or rail carts are waiting in or around the mill yard and make adjustments accordingly," he said.

"Experts from Sugar Research Institute of Fiji, NIR (near-infra-red) technicians and FSC will conduct a study on cane deterioration this season, taking into account what happens over a 24, 48 and 36-hour period.

"They will study the change in POC (pure obtainable cane sugar) in cane samples and will also have to look at the issue in terms of who must be held responsible.

"If a canefarmer has burnt his cane and other factors like that have to be considered before any adjustments or allowances can be made."

Mr Brown said in terms of responsibility, from the time cane was loaded onto a truck, it remained with the grower.

"From the time the truck is put on point and deposits into the mill, it is FSC's responsibility."

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