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FSC refutes farmers' claim

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, May 29, 2014

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation says claims made by the National Farmers Union about discrepancies with the fourth cane payment for the 2013 season were "factually baseless".

FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan said world sugar prices fluctuated and the payment of $15.85 was because sugar was sold at a lower price last year.

"Simply put, the additional gain in sugar production due to better cane quality and more efficient mill extraction, had improved the overall sugar make," Mr Khan said.

"Putting this together with the lower sugar price paid this season compared to last season, we were still able to improve the overall payment to the farmers.

"Here's a good example of the relevant stakeholders working together for the benefit of the industry."

Mr Khan said another reason the fourth payment was low was because the first payment was significantly higher than the 2012 season.

"Overall, taking into account the payment to date, this season's payment is overall higher than that of last season."

The NFU had issued a statement earlier this week calling for an explanation from the FSC on how farmers received $15.85 per tonne for the 2013 season — when 1.61million tonnes of cane were processed — compared with $20.40 paid to farmers for 1.55million tonnes.

Growers expect a record cane price for last season's crop.

The total payment to farmers after the fourth cane payment earlier this month was $82.12.

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