4 Aug 2010

Sugar cane harvest in Fiji drops

11:04 am on 4 August 2010

The amount of sugar cane to be harvested in Fiji's Northern Division has dropped by more than 100,000 tonnes, worrying farmers about their financial earnings.

The Fiji Times reports National Farmers Union president Surendra Lal said the drop this year was 148,000 tonnes from 678,000 to 530,000 tonnes.

He says farmers will not earn a lot this harvesting season because most have lost their cane to the dry weather, Hurricane Tomas and the delay of fertiliser supply last year.

Mr Lal says it's a major loss for the farmers and this was evident in the first pay they received two weeks ago, with most receiving only around 100, or 50 US dollars after other deductions were made.

He says the slow crush and low sugar production had not helped farmers.

Mr Lal says cane supply has not been a problem as farmers had maintained consistent supply throughout the week.