1 Jul 2008

Fiji cane growers say farmers blameless in EU supply problem

1:02 pm on 1 July 2008

The Fiji Cane Growers Association says the Sugar Corporation shouldn't be blaming farmers if it can't meet its obligation to supply sugar to the European Union.

The Fiji Times says the Fiji Sugar Corporation might not be able to meet the first quota under a billion-dollar export deal with the European Union, and is urging growers to improve and stabilise supply

The Cane Growers Association general secretary, Bala Dass, says there are still problems with the mills, although the one in Lautoka is operating well.

"I can still see there are some harvesting problems, I can still see there are, what do you call, the cars, the rails are not in order, the railway lines are not in order, the portable lines are not in order So I can see that the FSC...like I said, only one mill is doing good now, but the rest of the three are not operating well, so you can blame them that they are also not ready."

Bala Dass says the sugar minister, Mahendra Chaudhry must share some of the blame, because he should have known it would not be easy to supply the first shipment to the EU.