11 Sep 2012

High sugar content counters flooding damage in Fiji crop

3:56 pm on 11 September 2012

A high sugar content in this year's sugar cane crop is making up for the damage caused by severe flooding in January and March.

The Ministry of Sugar's Permanent Secretary says although flooding reduced the crop by 400-thousand tons, the sugar content tonnage from the current crushing season is expected to be 20-thousand tons higher than last year.

Manasa Vaniqi says it is estimated that this year's one-point-seven million ton crop will produce 180-thousand tons of sugar, which is lucky for flood-hit farmers.

"Whilst the flood has really caused havoc in the sugar industry we are glad as I have mentioned that very high sugar content because of the favourable weather conditions and prior to that the flooding has really helped in increasing the sugar content in the cane."

Manasa Vaniqi says the Lautoka, Rarawai and Labasa sugar mills have been experiencing some problems but technicians from India are due next month to look at how to upgrade them.