The Penang Sugar Mill in Rakiraki has produced only 300 kilograms of sugar from a minimum of 640 tonnes of cane on a single day last week, it has been revealed.
Sources say this was the amount of sugar extracted from 80 loads of cane delivered by lorries to the mill. They say if each lorry was carting a minimum average of 8 tonnes of cane , then the total amount of cane delivered and crushed by the mill would be 640 tonnes.
According to sources, even if the mill used 10 tonnes of cane to make one tonne of sugar, it should have produced 64 tonnes of sugar.
But sources have established only 6 bags of sugar totaling 300kg were produced. Each bag's weight is 50 kg.
Meanwhile the Penang Mill's forecast total crop for 2009 has been reduced from 228,000 tonnes to a meagre 174,000 tonnes, the lowest crop in recent memory.
Sources say this is a further sign of the state of decline and decay of Fiji's sugar industry since the military backed regime came into power following the December 2006 coup.