Cyclone Winston delivers hit to Fiji sugar industry, Cane Growers Association says

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Fiji's sugar industry has taken a massive hit from Cyclone Winston, and will struggle to produce at the next harvest, the Fiji Cane Growers Association says.

The category five cyclone, one of the most powerful ever in the region, hit Fiji on February 20, with wind gusts of up to 330 kilometres per hour.

Association CEO Mohammed Rafiq told ABC's Pacific Beat the extent of damage to the country's sugar cane crop was substantial.

"We can see all the farms are flattened, the canes have been uprooted — I would say extensive damage has been done to the sugar cane farms," he said.

Mr Rafiq said it was now too late to plant a second crop, so the amount of cane available for crushing at this year's harvest will be small.

"Even if we do the planting now, we face so many problems — it won't be harvested in this season, so one season would be gone," he said.

"The other thing is if we tell the farmers to do the planting — they don't have the house to live in, [so] how can they do the planting now?"

Mr Rafiq said the cyclone damage was a massive blow to the sugar cane farmers, who already struggled on low incomes from the sugar they harvest.

"In previous years we saw that slowly the sugar industry [in Fiji] was becoming viable and the crops were improving, we were getting good returns ... but now the farmers will not be able to produce what they were expecting.

"Now the worse has come when whatever little money they were getting from the crop, the crop has been ruined, and their house has been devastated."

Radio Australia attempted to contact the executive chairman of the Fiji Sugar Corporation, Abdul Khan, and Sundresh Chetty, CEO of the Cane Growers Council, but they have yet to respond.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation