Sugarcane growers urged to be honest

Suresh Kumar at his cane farm in Tavua. Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Vishvas Sapkal has urged the Fijian private sector to further explore the opportunities in the sugar industry. Picture: FILE

Suresh Kumar at his cane farm in Tavua. Picture: FILE

SUGARCANE growers affected by the recent tropical cyclones and associated floods are being urged to be honest when submitting damage claims.
Sugar Cane Growers Council acting CEO Sunil Chaudhary said the onus was on farmers to clearly outline damage when filling out Government’s Sugarcane-CARE forms.

“We have started a detailed survey of the Western Division cane belt area to ascertain the impact of the recent weather events on the sector,” he said.

“And whatever information growers have filled in the Sugarcane-CARE forms will be checked by teams that the industry has deployed.

“Basically, they will verify what growers have submitted in their forms. After the verification process is completed, then scoping works will be done to ascertain the cost of removing debris and/or replacing fertiliser for individual farms.”

Mr Chaudhary said the detailed survey, which began on Monday, would take two weeks to complete.

“We urge growers to be present at their farms when the survey teams show up because we need to understand what each farmer wants to do. Whether they want to remove debris and harvest what’s left or whether they want to plough their land and replant — the decision is theirs to make,” he added.