Sugar stakeholders give mixed reactions

THERE are mixed reactions from stakeholders to the $13.45 per tonne third cane payment expected to be paid to about 12,000 farmers today.

While the announcement was well received by some farmers’ representative organisations in the Western Division, others said they had expected a bit more.

“The payment is timely given that the Easter long weekend is coming up and this will help farmers have a little celebration with their family members,” said Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO Sundresh Chetty.

Lautoka Cane Producers Association president Parbindar Singh said the amount paid out was expected.

“We heard that the payment would be between $13 to $14 per tonne and our 5300 members are very happy with this payment.”

Newly appointed Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association president Jinend Singh said the payment was good, but some growers had expected a bit more than $13.45 per tonne.

“Overall, everyone is happy but for the big productive growers, they had expected about $17 per tonne,” he said.

“Because labour and harvesting costs have gone up considerably for many of them, they were expecting it to be more than what they had received.”

The FSC issued a statement on Monday stating that the third cane payment for the 2017 season of $13.45 per tonne showed a significant increase of more than $9.28 paid out in 2016 and $9.88 paid in 2015.

“The increase can be attributed to better management of sales, cash flow and success in accelerating sales revenue receipts by 28th February this year, being the record date for calculation of the third cane payment,” said FSC.