FIJI: Sugar production seen hitting 180,000 tonnes
Published: 08/17/2012, 5:23:36 PM
The sugar industry is expected to improve its sugar production to 180,000 metric tonnes this year, according to the Fiji Times newspaper.
Sugar permanent secretary, Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi said this was an improvement from the last two years.
In 2010, the production was 136, 000 tonnes compared to 160,000 tonnes last year.
Sugar tonnage produced was 310,000 in 2006, 237,000 in 2007, 207,966 in 2008 and 167,611 in 2009. The production is still, however, lower than Fiji's EU quota of 220,000 tonnes.
Lt-Col Vaniqi said the industry's major challenges included low cane supply in some of the mills and poor harvesting efforts.
He added that there were some logistical issues within the population.
The Colonel said transportation of sugar cane to the mills needed to be properly planned and aligned during the crushing season.
At the moment, the crops are transported to the mills through railways and trucks.
Lt-Col Vaniqi said they were also working on improving the tons of cane to tons of sugar (TCTS), which if it does, showed that there was "discipline" within the industry. He added that one of the issues was mill mud, which was mud that were on the cane crops when brought to the mills.
Lt-Col Vaniqi said the onus was on the growers to supply good and clean cane crops.
Lt-Col Vaniqi said the extraction rate of sugar should be around 90 per cent to keep the industry alive and this was one of the many issues the ministry was looking into.