Sugar cane delivery down

STANDOVER cane will not be an issue when the crushing season at the Labasa mill ends on Sunday.

National Farmers Union (NFU) president Surendra Lal said a lot of the farmers had already harvested their cane crops prior to the announcement of the early closure.

“The issue of standover cane is not really a concern this year as a lot of the farmers have already delivered their cane supply to the mill,” Mr Lal said.

“The cane crops on the fields now are the ones that are bad. While standover cane will not be an issue, the early closure will mean no employment for the farmers for about eight months until the next crushing season.

“Also, most of the farmers this year only managed to produce half of what they used to deliver to the mill before because of the dry spell.

“The drought had really affected a lot of cane farms and this was something beyond our control.” Mr Lal said they predicted cane supply this year would be short of the 40,000-tonne mark.

“Last year, the farmers supplied 550,000 tonnes of cane but we predict that they will only be able to deliver 510,000 tonnes this year and the difference is not that bad.”