MORE than 2000 sugarcane growers from five sectors in Nadi stand to be affected by the flood-damaged rail bridge at Navo.
There are serious concerns that growers will face great difficulty in transporting harvested crop to the Lautoka Mill when crushing begins in May this year.
The Sugar Cane Growers Council said there were limited access roads to most farms in the affected sectors because of the heavy reliance on rail transport systems.
"If the bridge is not fixed in time then we will have to look at alternative ways of getting crops out without further burdening growers with additional costs," said SCGC acting chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty. The Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan, however, promised that the bridge would be fixed before the start of the 2012 season scheduled for late May or early June.
"We will fix that bridge. We have two to three months and the Navo Bridge will take priority over all other damaged infrastructure repair programs," he said.
Damage costs for last week's flooding will be announced once a joint industry assessment is completed later next week.
The FSC recorded a total infrastructure damage bill of $13.5 million in the aftermath of the January floods.