24 May 2011

Focus on mill workforce as Fiji sugar cane crushing season about to start

9:49 pm on 24 May 2011

With the start of the sugar cane crushing season in Fiji only weeks away, cane farmers are worried over the performance of the mills.

After years of problems and plant breakdown, the focus this season is increasingly being put on the mill workforce.

The suggestion is that pay will be docked if the mills run into problems so it's not just the farmers who lose out.

But a cane farmer near Nadi, says the early retirement brought in by current administration, and lack of education of the mill workforce could both be playing a part

"They have been not trained mostly and the good people they have before working in the mill lot have been retired, lot have gone overseas and they never coming back, so the people who should be on the right place are not there."

Farmers at this stage are due to get returns of just under 30 US dollars a ton, but are demanding higher returns to make the industry profitable for cane growers