15 Nov 2012

Fiji sugar industry in very good position: mill boss

12:58 pm on 15 November 2012

The head of the Fiji Sugar Corporation is denying claims that the sugar industry is in serious decline.

The comment follows a prediction from the National Farmers Union that the amount of sugar cane crushed this season will be the lowest on record.

The body says the number of cane growers has halved over the past 20 years, from about 23,000 to 12,000.

But the sugar corporation's executive chairperson, Abdul Khan, says he doesn't believe that many farmers have left the industry.

"I would put the industry in a very good position at the moment. Over the last two and a half years the payment to farmers is significantly higher than where we were when we first started. Our mills are operating a lot better than where they were two years ago. In terms of the turnaround for Fiji Sugar Corporation that's looking a lot better than where it was as well."

Abdul Khan says he expects a much better crushing season next year.