The National Farmers Union rejects government’s plan to introduce a quality cane payment system by next year.
NFU National President Param Sivam said a quality cane payment system cannot be introduced unless milling efficiency is improved.
“With the present state of the mills, any payment system based on quality cane will work to the detriment of the cane farmer,” Mr. Sivam said.
On the question of cane burning, he said, this also resulted from poor milling performance. “If they don’t fix the mills, a lot of cane will be left in the fields and there will be cane burning.”
It is typical of FSC to blame the farmers for its own shortcomings, he said referring in particular to comments by the Lautoka Mill manager attributing the mill’s poor crushing performance to burnt cane .
“This is just a big ploy to hide FSC’s faults and shift the blame on to the farmers,” Mr. Sivam said.
He called for the removal of the Lautoka Mill manager and re-iterated calls by the NFU for the entire FSC board and management to resign.
“Unless we have competent people at the top, no amount of restructuring or revival plans will help the sugar industry,” Mr Sivam warned.