1.3 million tonnes of cane crushed

Sugarcane truck drivers wait to unload cane at the Lautoka Mill. Picture: REINAL CHAND

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation has crushed a total of 1.3 million tonnes of cane as of Friday last week. CEO Graham Clark said a total of 1,319,484 tonnes of cane had been crushed in the three mills.

The Labasa mill crushed 523,379 tonnes, Lautoka mill crushed 464,507 and the Rawarai mill crushed 331,598 tonnes.

“In order to monitor remaining cane and to ensure it is crushed, a detailed tracking system to monitor daily harvesting in each sector has been used by FSC to determine the available cane remaining to be harvested,” he said.

“For Viti Levu, we will combine Lautoka and Rarawai mills capacity to enable a minimum total of 7500 tonnes to be crushed per day,” he said.

“The diversion of cane from Rarawai to Lautoka continues successfully and makes this achievable.

“The Labasa mill is well placed, assuming current performance continues, to end crushing on time”.

Mr Clark said the deployment of mechanical harvesters was being co-ordinated and maximised in all sectors to harvest all flat land cane as soon as possible.

“Manual harvesting is being managed by deploying cutting teams from completed farms to those still needing to be cut.

This is in addition to efforts by farmers to secure and retain their cutters.

Additional canecutters are being sought where possible.

“Together with the Sugar Cane Growers Council, we have met with the Methodist Church Ra Division, who have had cutters working this season and are trying to assist with providing more cutters to assist in the Rarawai mill area. Two additional gangs will start this weekend with further numbers to be determined by next week.”