As predicted by Coupfourpointfive yesterday, the Penang sugar mill failed to start crushing today.
This is despite a promise by the Fiji Sugar Corporation that the mill would begin the 2009 crushing season this morning.
Last night we reported that cane farmers in the mill area were showing a lack of interest in signing their Memorandum of Gang Agreement (MOGA) forms.
The MOGA indicates to the mill that a farmer is ready to start harvesting.
Until last night only 67 percent of harvesting gangs in the mill area had submitted their MOGA to FSC, instead of the 80 percent needed.
The lack of interest has been due to the dissatisfaction by farmers and cane lorry owners over the imposition of a road user levy by the Land Transport Authority.
From 1st January the road user levy is $75 for a tonne of load per annum and cane lorries will have to pay between $750 to $900 per annum for carrying 10 to 12 tonnes of cane depending on the size and capacity of the lorry.
Sources say the Lorry Operators Association today met and agreed on a proposal offered by the interim Transport Minister.
COupfourpointfive has been told that now an agreement has been reached, cane crushing at Penang could start in the next 48 hours.