Sugarcane farmer loses crops to fire

STOP lighting fires near sugarcane farms.

This was the plea from Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty as yet another farm lost crops to fire on Wednesday.

Sarat Chand, a canegrower in Drasa, Lautoka, fell victim to a fire from a neighbouring farm.

“The farmer was burning rubbish and because of strong winds, it spread into my farm and burnt more than nine acres of ratoon crops,” he said.

“I lost a lot of money because I had just spent about $2000 in land preparation and fertiliser and there was also the money I would have earned from the harvest next year.”

Mr Chetty said the number of cane farms and crops lost to burning was a concern.

“People are being irresponsible and lighting fires near cane farms that have recently been harvested and these are catching fire quite easily because of all the trash,” he said.

“We are calling on people to be careful and responsible and not to light fires unnecessarily.

“It’s a concern especially due to the dry season we are experiencing.

“The crop size is already down and the industry is trying its best to increase cane production.”

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