Saturday, August 03, 2013

Sugar cane

Sugar cane is Fiji's main export today when back in the mid-1800s, Fiji chose sugar cane over cotton to be its main industry. It's the harvest season for the cane and Jordan and I have seen lots of it, not only in the fields but at various stages of harvesting.

Jordan in front of sugar cane field

We have walked past the cane loaded onto carts stationed on narrow train tracks. These tracks are much narrower than regular train tracks.

Jordan with worker who was chopping off loose ends

These narrow train tracks take the loaded carts all the way to Lautoka where it is unloaded and processed at the huge sugar mill.

Small train pulling many loaded carts of sugar cane

Not all of the carts make it all the way to Lautoka though. We have seen a few fully loaded carts tipped over on the tracks! We have also noticed several carts tossed aside in the ditch when deemed no longer usable. And everywhere you look, dropped sugar cane from loaded trucks, etc. always seems to be along the roadsides.

After sugar cane is cut from the fields, the stripped leaves and stubble are burned, sending black ash into the air and a haze over the Island from smoke (which unexpectedly makes for great sunsets). When we took a taxi to the airport a few weeks ago, the driver stopped so Jordan could take a photo of the burning fields.

Man in field attending to the fire

We wanted to take a tour of the large sugar mill in Lautoka but when we arrived, we were told that the mill was shut down for tours. We learned that a workman had just died in a tragic accident at the mill and it was closed to the public until further notice.

1 comment:

Kyra and Rick said...

Hey! We're in the same hemisphere! Getting ready to leave French Polynesia for the Cooks. Just wanted to say hi! The Nyon crew