Labasa Mill in serious trouble but FSC remains silent

  • 12th August 2015
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Labasa mill has been seriously malfunctioning for almost two weeks now causingsurendra huge financial loss to growers but Fiji Sugar Corporation has remained silent on the issue.

The mill has been running without a shredder after it was removed on 2 August once it became faulty. The shredder is the primary station in the milling process where cane is ground into tiny pieces to allow for better juice extraction as it goes through the rollers.

“Without the shredder, the cane is now going through the rollers in bigger prices, resulting in very poor juice extraction,” said NFU President Surendra Lal.

“With no figures available from FSC, we suspect the mill is taking at least 12-13 tonnes of cane to make one tonne sugar. This means heavy financial loss to cane farmers,” he said.

The mill is now crushing at a much reduced capacity leading to highly inconsistent harvest quotas, resulting in additional loss to growers as cutters remain idle for days on end.

There is no indication when FSC will replace the faulty shredder. With FSC and the Sugar Ministry now controlling all facets of the industry, growers are not likely to be compensated for the loss they are incurring.

If this is how Abdul Khan and the Sugar Ministry intend to treat growers, they can say good-bye to the industry. All their mega-million dollar projects to ensure the industry’s viability will come to nought, unless they learn how to treat growers with respect, and as equal partners.