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Hold on deductions please: Chaudhry


Oct 21, 2021 01:11:16 PM

Hold on deductions please: Chaudhry There is a call for the Fiji Sugar Corporation, not to process any deductions from the final cane payment for the 2020 crop due to be paid this month.

National Farmers Union general secretary Mahendra Chaudhry said farmers are owed $14.99 per tonne of cane and this money should be paid without any further delay and without cuts.

Chaudhry with Diwali coming up in less than a fortnight has requested for the payment be expedited so that farmers could have some cash in hand for the religious festivities. 

"The payment was due in May this year as a part of the government-guaranteed minimum cane price of $85 per tonne,” he said.

"It was deferred because Economy Minister Sayed-Khaiyum had not provided adequate funds in the 2020/21 Budget to meet the payment.

“Deductions for loan repayments, land rent, fertilizers and other farm inputs accrued for the 2021 season should not be debited against this payment.

“As it is, cane farmers are incurring heavy losses as a result of huge delays in the delivery and processing of cane caused by serious milling problems,” he said.

He said the tonnes cane to tonnes sugar ratio is negatively high, estimated to be around 14:1 which means at least four tonnes of cane are wasted for each tonne of sugar produced.

“FSC has stopped releasing cane crush and tonnes cane to tonnes sugar figures which were always published in the past for the information of the industry stakeholders," Chaudhry said.

"We see this as a move to hide the inefficiencies in its milling processes. The situation is clearly unacceptable,” he said.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka





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