The Fji Cane Growers Association says cane farmers have lost more than $46 million as their share of sugar earnings this year, due to the Fiji Sugar Corporation's pathetic milling performance.
In a statement responding to Permanent Secretary for Sugar Parmesh Chand's comment made a week ago that the sugar industry has lost $66 million due to low production, the Association's general secretary, Bala Dass, says the farmers' share from the minimum $66 million loss is $46.2 million based on the 70/30 sharing of proceeds formula in the industry.
Dass says figures obtained by the Association reveal that the FSC used an average of 12.4 tonnes of cane to make one tonne of sugar in the first three months of crushing this year. He said until September the third, four mills crushed a total of 861,734 tonnes of cane producing 69,950 tonnes of sugar.
Dass said even if the tonnes of cane required to produce a tonne of sugar was 9, sugar production would be more than 96,000 tonnes.
He said with the $86 million mill upgrade program nearing completion, farmers expected a vast improvement in FSC's performance, but it has declined even further.
"This is the painful price farmers are paying for the actions of FSC management laced with Coloniasl era hangers on and cronies who seemingly are invincible in the eyes of the interim regime", Dass concluded.