Low cane supply concern

Arun Kumar harvest cane in Raviravi Ba. Picture: FILE/REINAL CHAND

LOW cane supply continues to be an issue for the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC). FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark said while it was still early days yet, there were a number of issues attributing to the lack of raw material at the Labasa and Lautoka mills.

He said cane supply was steadily improving but the mills were still running out of cane around the 4am to 5am time frame each day, with supply improving again from around 7am Mr Clark said it was important that cane be harvested and transported to the mills at the height of maturity to ensure the best possible sugar production results.

“You can see a lot more cane flowering, which signifies that it’s matured,” he said.

“So, cane purity is lifting nicely and is back at around the 80 per cent mark”.

The CEO added that FSC distributed the first 11 of its new six-wheeler trucks to Labasa and they were operating well.

However, he registered concern, saying the industry still faced a shortage of lorries.

“What we are hearing is that drivers are wanting higher rates.

“Growers are ready, they have mobilised their cutters etcetera but lorry availability seems to be an issue”.

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