16 Mar 2016

Some Fiji sugar farmers have lost everything

3:26 pm on 16 March 2016

The Lautoka Cane Producers Association in Fiji says while some farmers will be able to harvest up to 60 percent of their sugar cane crop, others have lost everything.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation said early estimates are that 50 percent of the sugar crop on Fiji's largest island, Viti Levu, has been destroyed

The chair of the Lautoka Cane Producers Association, Parbindra Singh, said this is true for farmers in Ba and Lautoka, with a little more than half the crop surviving.

Lautoka suburbs of Fiji after Cyclone Winston.

Lautoka suburbs of Fiji after Cyclone Winston. Photo: RNZI / Alex Perrottet

But he said in Rakiraki and Tavua, some farmers have nothing left.

"Some farmers have lost everything, every crop, like they wouldn't be able to harvest even a few of them. Maybe some are lucky who could be able to harvest two percent, or five percent, or ten percent. Therein again, it will be a problem because Rarawai mill cannot run with very limited cane."

Parbindra Singh said if their local mill is unable to be opened in time for harvesting this year, farmers will have the added transportation costs of taking their cane to be processed at another mill.