SUNBIZ

Fiji Hardwood to Now Focus on Vanua Levu

Landowners should have more ownership on the land and resources through a process.
16 Apr 2019 22:56
Fiji Hardwood to Now Focus on Vanua Levu
Adrian Sofield.

Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited (FHCL) will soon harvest and process timber directly from Vanua Levu for the first time.

FHCL chair Adrian Sofield high­lighted this while presenting his submission on the Public Enterpris­es Bill 2019, Bill No. 4 of 2019 to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights yesterday.

Mr Sofield said by June the har­vesting of timber will be expected to start in Labasa.

“There has not been any harvest­ing at Seaqaqa in Vanua Levu and we will start moving up there and have meetings with the landown­ers,” he said.

“Instead of selling logs, we will be adding value by contracting mills to cut the logs for us.

“There is no point in harvesting logs and shipping them back to Viti Levu and we will move into process­ing the timber ourselves.”

Mr Sofield said unlike Galoa, Se­rua, Fiji Hardwood owned the mill whereas in Vanua Levu they will not own the mill but we will sub-contract out.

He added they wanted landowners to have more ownership on the land and resources through this process.

“Landowners and people who own the mill can get $200 per m3 just for ripping the timber,” he added.

“So we will end up in mills in Va­nua Levu, which will be a big plus for us, and also the landowners who have nothing but land lease for 50-60 years.

“We are trying to bring landowners into more of owning the land and owning the resource which is also a difficulty in getting across.”

Feedback: karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj

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