SUNBIZ

Landowners Praise Fiji Pine

Taukei Saqele Ratu Iliesa Raseru, said: “It has helped us elevate the standard of living from poverty to one which we now enjoy.
18 Sep 2020 09:11
Landowners Praise Fiji Pine
Fiji Pine workers.

Two of the biggest pine landowning units received a collective sum of $1.2 million in land bonus lease payments, over the past five years.

The two landowning units, mataqali Ketenaratu from Vitogo Village, and yavusa Saqele of Vakabuli Village, praised Fiji Pine Limited (FPL) for their continuous payments to landowners, particularly during the coronavirus crisis.

From 2014 to last year, mataqali Ketenaratu received $759,272.91, while yavusa Saqele received $444,919 for the same period.

Mataqali Ketenaratu has 2120 hectares of pine cultivation, while yavusa Saqele leased 1547.67 hectares for pine growing.

September 24

Pine landowners from around the country will gather at Tropik Wood Industries in Lautoka on September 24, where Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is expected to distribute this year’s land security bonus payments.

Vakabuli Village consists of pine landowners from the six mataqalis, and nine tokatokas who live there.

Taukei Saqele Ratu Iliesa Raseru, said: “It has helped us elevate the standard of living from poverty to one which we now enjoy.

“The benefits of the payouts were evident in developments in the village.

“The benefits have brought about rehabilitation of our houses, which were in poor conditions prior to these payments coming in,” Ratu Iliesa said.

“Now we have proper toilet facilities and kitchens.”

Plant pine

Ratu Iliesa has advised landowners who have idle land to use it for pine planting.

The mataqali Ketenaratu of the yavusa Vanuakula Nasolou from Vitogo Village in Lautoka, is the biggest landowning unit of pine forests, leased by Fiji Pine Limited.

Spokesman Vateresio Savenaca Driu said: “Through the land security bonus payment, we have been able to achieve many things for the betterment of our people.

“That includes the purchasing of a new three-tonne truck worth over $70,000, and 10 bullocks.

“The company has not reneged on its word.”

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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