An official of Fiji's interim regime has reacted to a letter to the editor that appeared in the Fiji Times on Thursday by issuing a statement.
It was in response to a letter written by a Nileshni Devi of Nasinu.
In her letter, Devi expressed concern about the un-harvested crop in Olosara Sector in Sigatoka from where cane farmers have been supplying cane to the Lautoka sugar mill for decades.
Titled "Cane idle in the fields", Devi lamented the fact that farmers were destroying their crop after being left to fend for themselves after the Fiji Sugar Corporation shut down the tram line claiming poor cane production and the Sugar Industry Tribunal ruled that the farmers deliver their crop to the mill by lorry transport.
Fiji Television reported last month that some farmers had started destroying their crop by burning entire fields because most of their farms are inaccessible to lorries.
The Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Parmesh Chand, responded to the letter by sending a statement through the Department of Information.
In the statement he blamed the destruction of the old Sigatoka bridge that carried the tramline for the Tribunal's ruling that farmers are to cart cane on lorries.
He advised farmers to get ready to harvest their crop this season and diversify to non-cane from next year.
Meanwhile the Fiji Cane Growers Association has revealed that it wrote to Parmesh Chand in July outlining the predicament facing farmers.
Association general secretary Bala Dass has issued a statement in response to a comment from the FSC that Olosara farmers stand to lose $1.4 million due to non-harvesting of their crop.
In his statement, Dass enclosed the submission that he delivered to Chand outlining FSC's conractual obligations as the miller to receive all cane and submitted solutions including fairly compensating farmers in the event the crop is not harvested.
Read full submission from the Fiji Cane Growers Association - http://www.mediafire.com/?nimr21jgijj