27 Jun 2003

Fiji sugar industry struggles with inefficiency

4:42 pm on 27 June 2003

A study of Fiji's sugar industry shows that it is losing 24-million US dollars a year because of inefficiencies.

The losses are occurring because of poor milling performances, delays in crushing, burnt and green cane, poor harvesting techniques and poor farm practices.

The study has been done by former Fiji resident Dr Padma Lal of the Australian National University, who says such losses did not exist in the industry's heyday.

Dr Lal says growers and miller have generally focussed on their own personal gains and losses rather than making the industry cake bigger.

She says the Fiji Sugar Corporation receives a much higher revenue per tonne of cane crushed than its Australian counterpart, but it is still running at a loss.