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50 Growers To Get Lease Renewals

50 Growers To Get Lease Renewals
Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive officer Graham Clark.
May 17
11:00 2017


At least 50 cane farmers from Nawaicoba in Nadi are happy that the paperwork needed to renew their land leases will be completed soon.

Nawaicoba Cane Lease committee chairperson Kuar Singh said it was all thanks to the intervention of the Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Yogesh Karan, from the Office of the Prime Minister.

The farmers had been running around for the renewal of their leases for over two years until in January Mr Karan, and his team visited them.

Mr Singh said he visited the official responsible last week and “confirmed that the lease could be ready by next month”.

The prolonged issue has the iTaukei Land Trust Board deducting rent on both the new and old lease from the farmers, he said.

During the time of the Qarase Government, the land leases of the cane farmers were changed from Crown Land reference – DP into iTaukei Land reference- SO Lease.

However, while the rent for iTaukei land lease was being paid by the farmers since then, the change on the paper from DP to SO was not made.

When these farmers applied for land lease renewal it was rejected for that reason.

The TLTB manager Nadi, Josaia Waqairatu, said it was confirmed that the survey of the land from DP to SO had been approved by the surveyor general and now the papers were with the Town and Country Planning for approval of the same.

“Once the Town and Country Planning approves of it, the lease should be ready in no time and perhaps by June,” Mr Waqairatu said.

Mr Singh said he was thankful for Mr Karan’s intervention and assisting in the quick progress of the paper work.

“I would like to thank the Office of the Prime Minister for making sure that the work was being done,” he said.

At the same time Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive Graham Clark said the issue of land lease expiration had seen a gradual improvement. However, there needed to be more work done.

“Together with the FSC board we will be evaluating some board strategies to try and get that whole issue accelerated that will be taking place in the next couple of weeks as we engage,” Mr Clark said.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika



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