RAIL gangs in the northern part of Macuata harvested their sugar cane yesterday in preparation for the much-awaited new cane crushing season that is expected to begin tomorrow .
Speaking on behalf of the sugarcane farmers, National Farmers Union (NFU) president Surendra Lal said the crop would be the first batch of supplies delivered to the Labasa mill tomorrow.
"The rail gangs in Daku, Wainikoro and Bucaisau have started cutting their crops as part of the first batch," he said.
"Some of the rail trucks arrived to the respective areas on Sunday while the rest arrived yesterday and the farmers have started to load their crops. Even though the farmers have started harvesting their farms, they still are encountering some teething problems. Among such problems are shortage of labour, poor cane access roads, transportation and late arrival of rail trucks."
Mr Lal said they only hoped the authorities would address such problems prior to the new season.
"There is always problems occurring but we hope that authorities will step in and help the farmers so they are able to supply more cane to the mill on time.
"We only hope that there will be no standover cane after this season."
Provincial administrator Macuata Joseva Rokonai earlier said they had liaised with provincial council offices to help them with labourers.