SUNBIZ

Landowners Turn Trees Into Money

Natalau and Nakorovatu landowners in Dreketi, Macuata planted mahogany seedlings 36-years ago.
18 Sep 2019 13:15
Landowners Turn Trees Into Money
Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited general manager Shakeel Maharaj handing over the cheques to Dreketi Mahogany Company Limited chairman Kitione Yacadra on September 16, 2019.

Natalau and Nakorovatu landowners in Dreketi, Macuata planted mahogany seedlings 36-years ago.

They have waited patiently for the trees to mature.

Their patience paid off when they received $25,336.50 from Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited (FHCL) on Monday.

The payment was inclusive of stampage, lease payment and land management

Natalau the second largest landowning unit in Vanua Levu, has harvested approximately 400 cubic meters of trees.

FHCL general manager Shakeel Maharaj thanked the landowning unity.

“It is like a dream come true for the FHCL by forming a company.

“Before, the landowners used to receive, stampage, land management and lease payment, however, after considering all the factors FHCL directors and management decided to ask the landowners to form a company, where they can receive more money then what they use to get before,” Mr Maharaj said.

Shareholders

Dreketi Mahogany Company Limited chairman Kitione Yacadra said the 12 landowning units were the shareholders and this was just the beginning of good times to come.

Mr Yacadra said this was the first of the many payments to come, and the landowning unit was thankful and happy at the same time.

“It is a dream come true for us and this day cannot be forgotten,” he said.

“The money we have received will be used to lift the standard of living, improve infrastructure, roads, community centres and schools.

“The money will be deposited into the company account and from there it will be distributed accordingly.”

Hectares

Nearly 126 hectares of mahogany are left to be harvested for the Mataqali Natalau and will take over three years to harvest.

The payment the landowners received was for the two weeks of harvest and every fortnight Fiji Hardwood corporation will make payments to the company.

Mr Kitione said they had over 6000 hectares of Mahogany which will be harvested by Fiji Hardwood Corporation.

Dreketi Mahogany Company Limited business advisor Jona Sevura said they had worked harmoniously with Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited.

He added that company had employed 70 people directly and indirectly.

“Our hard work has paid off and we are very happy to work with FHCL.

Land Management

Mr Yacadra said they were in talks with FHCL in land preparation and replanting so that their generations to come reaped the benefits.

Feedback: mohammed.zulfikar@fijisun.com.fj

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