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50k tonnes of cane remain in the fields

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, November 02, 2017

WITH the crushing season ending after two weeks, about 50,000 tonnes of cane remain in the fields of cane farmers in the Northern Division.

Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty said gangs should help one another cut the remaining crop.

"On the harvesting front, the crop estimate has gone down but we still have 50,000 tonnes in the field," he said.

"The date announced by the Sugar Industry Tribunal is November 19 as termination of crush."

Mr Chetty said the shortage of labourers remained an issue for cane farmers.

"There is big time labour shortage due to scarcity, so I have been urging gangs who have completed harvesting to mobilise cutters to other areas," he said.

He said the continuous rainfall experienced in the North over the past week has been a good sign for farmers.

"People have retained seed cane, the yield is good and looking forward to a good production next year.

"While cane supply is affected by rain, it is good for cane planting," he said.

However, National Farmers Union president Surendra Lal said the rainfall had only covered a few farming areas of Macuata.

"Only part of Seaqaqa and Labasa received rainfall but not all of Macuata so not all farmers have benefited from the rainfall," he said.

"Farmers in Daku and Wainikoro have had no rain for a long time so they are affected."

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