Cane not ready for harvest

Fiji Sugar Corporation employee Uraia Vota (2nd from right) with his team clears the railway tracks in preparation for the Sugar Cane harvesting Season in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

NARAIN Swamy Goundar is not looking forward to the new crushing season because most of his cane are not matured as a result of the prolonged heavy downpours.

The Tagitagi, Tavua sugarcane grower said this year’s crushing season would be a lot different from previous years because there was an extra two months needed for his cane to mature before he could start harvesting.

“It’s quite hard, quite a number of cane have not matured and I hope they mature before crushing begins at the end of June,” Mr Goundar said.

“There has been a lot of rain this year and even towards the end of last year and this is why most cane did not grow well.

“I am looking at two months time for all the cane to mature before they are ready for harvest and crushing.”

Mr Goundar owns a 12-acre sugarcane farm on the outskirts of Tavua and has been a grower all his life. He said most cane farms were still soggy as a result of continuous heavy downpour and it would be hard for cane harvesters to work on such farms during harvesting.

He was optimistic the weather would continue to be favourable so he would enjoy the 2020 crushing season.

Meanwhile, the Labasa mill would begin crushing on June 10 and growers had been advised to begin harvesting and delivery of canes a day prior.

The Lautoka Mill was scheduled to begin crushing on June 24 while the Rarawai Mill would start crushing on June 22.

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