18 Jun 2012

Fiji farmers union says floods led to significant declines in sugar cane

5:07 am on 18 June 2012

A group representing farmers in Fiji says flooding events in January and March have led to a significant decline in sugar production.

An assessment on the impact of the floods by University of Fiji students has concluded the sugar industry was the worst affected of the agricultural sector, with a likely drop of 35 tonnes in sugar exports this year.

The President of the National Farmers Union, Surendra Lal says prior to the floods farmers were gathering 60-80 tonnes of sugar cane per hectare and that has slumped to about 20-25 tonnes per hectare.

"On the ground we're really feeling the impact of this devastation of floods and the adverse weather conditions that have been holding over the country for the last 8-10 months. It has been worst damaging what we had earlier this year. We haven't experienced any of this devastation in the past few years in terms of devastation to the sugar industry."

Surendra Lal says farmers are relying on the government to help them replant crops.