TLTB cautions on lease issues

Felix Chaudhary
Monday, August 11, 2014

THE iTaukei Land Trust Board said a number of issues needed to be carefully negotiated in terms of the renewal of cane leases.

CEO Alipate Qetaki cited a recent example where discussions were being held between 72 canegrowers from Nawaicoba and indigenous landowners from Yako Village in Nadi.

Last month, the yavusa Leweivunaniu made a request to the TLTB for some parcels of land in Nawaicoba to be returned to them for their own development projects.

During consultations between the TLTB, Fiji Sugar Corporation, Sugar Industry Tribunal and Sugar Cane Growers Council, a number of issues were highlighted.

Mr Qetaki said in some cases farmers had bought land from previous owners and were making payments through cane proceeds, however, the lease was still under the previous owner’s name.

“There are also cases where the owners of the lease are deceased and the next of kin are still processing probate and transmission by death.

“There are also challenges when the original lease is with a financial institution because money is owed by the farmer.”

He said TLTB would request the Sugar Cane Growers Fund to facilitate the process.”

Mr Qetaki said further consultations would be held once all the lease renewal applications were received.

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