10 Jun 2008

Fiji sugar growers optimistic despite predictions of small harvest

3:05 pm on 10 June 2008

Fiji's Cane Growers Council says farmers remain optimistic this season despite predictions of a low yield.

The council's acting chief executive, Sundresh Chetty, says this year they expect to harvest a crop similar to that of 2007 which reached 2.5 million tonnes, and he says he doesnt' expect problems with mills.

He says for the past two years they've had declining crops due to both drought and excessive rain.

But the mood is good as this year's season gets underway, even though there are other economic factors to consider.

"There are problems because of the rising cost of production and the increase in fuel rise and other basic food items, there are problems. We are also having problems with the increase in fertilizers - we aren't getting the fertiliser in time due to, I believe, shipping costs that are also going up, so there are a range of problems farmers are facing at the moment."

Fiji's Cane Growers Council's Sundresh Chetty