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FSC advises against sugarcane burning

May 25, 2018 5:01 am

The Fiji Sugar Corporation is issuing warnings in advance to farmers to refrain from burning sugarcane.

Chief executive, Graham Clark says many may argue that this practice brings some short term benefits, in terms of decreasing harvest time.

However, Clark says they do not encourage burning because when burnt cane is harvested it deteriorates quickly and stimulates the conversion of sugar content into destructive compounds such as dextran and methanol.

He says this adversely affected sugar recovery or tonnes of cane per tonne of sugar and sugar quality from the factory.

Clark says the presence of these destructive compounds is penalized by international sugar buyers, whereas sugar supplied free of these compounds attracts premium prices.

The chief executive says it is possible to remove these during the sugar manufacturing process by chemical dosing, but this is an expensive process which cannot be recovered from the sugar sales price.

Clark says sugarcane burning also impacts the environment negatively.