11 Feb 2003

Fiji sugar processing season ends with 40 thousand tonnes still not harvested

5:29 am on 11 February 2003

Fiji's 2002 sugar cane crushing season will end today with the closure of the Lautoka mill long after it should have completed processing

The mill's general manager, Alipate Radrodro, has told Radio Fiji the season was the worst in the mill's history.

The factory's new crushing mill installed last year has been plagued with problems and is expecting to produce about 107 thousand tonnes of sugar from over one million tonnes of cane.

Farmers are unhappy because about forty thousand tonnes of cane will be left unharvested in the fields when the crush ends today according to a schedule set by the sugar tribunal.

Meanwhile the Fiji Sugar Marketing Company has expressed concern about the quality of the sugar produced in the second half of the seven month long season.

Its chief executive, John May, says the latest shipment to China is of poor quality and will need extra refining.