Natural Disasters Cost Fiji Sugar Industry $80 Million In 2016

Cyclone Winston, flooding hit crops, FSC infrastructure hard

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 27, 2017) – Natural disasters in 2016 cost the sugarcane industry in excess of $167 million [US$80 million], says Fiji Sugar Corporation chairman Vishnu Mohan.

Mr Mohan said the losses to crops, infrastructure and mills were recorded in the aftermath of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston and flooding associated with tropical depression 04F.

"TC Winston damage to the sugar industry totalled to $163.6m [US$78.8 million]," he said.

"Damages were caused to the mills, research facilities, houses and farm structures of canefarmers, transportation infrastructure and over 45 per cent (19,000 hectares) of crop damages in all the sectors of Rarawai, Penang and two sectors in Lautoka."

In terms of TD04F, Mr Mohan said while the damage was limited to a section of the cane growing belt, the impact was significant.

"The flooding as a result of TD04 caused a total of $3.5m [US$1.7 million] damages in Rakiraki and Tavua cane farming areas, mainly to prepare land ready for planting, planted cane, ratoon crops, cane access roads and Penang mill infrastructure.

"Government will look into a possible way of assisting those farmers affected by the flood and TC Winston with fertiliser and weedicide inputs."

Fiji Times Online.
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