Shine A Light

Mahogany: A Lost Primary Resource For Landowners

In the 1960s, a peppercorn fee of 10 cents per hectare was given to landowners as lease money.
27 Feb 2021 18:01
Mahogany: A Lost Primary Resource For Landowners
The mahogany plantation in Toberua, Galoa. Photo: Leon Lord

These landowners gave their land for the establishment of the Government’s mahogany plantations.

In return, landowners were promised fair and equitable returns and complete involvement in harvesting operations.

It was a verbal agreement under the then Alliance Government, led by the late former Prime Minister Ratu Kamisese Mara.

The first mahogany plantation trial station was established in Nukurua Village in Tailevu in 1961. The mataqali (clan) Toga had offered 100 acres.

Mahogany was first introduced into Fiji from Central America in 1911. It takes about 30 to 40 years for a tree to mature and ready for harvest.

Commercial harvesting only began in 2003. This, under the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Government, led by the late former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase.

Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited 

To date, under the Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited (FHCL), landowners receive $12.50 per hectare (ha) from their leased land.

Still a small piece of the pie, most landowners say.

FHCL was originally a state-owned enterprise. It was established in 1998 by former Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, of the Soqosoqo Vakavulewa ni iTaukei Party.

Today, Government’s mahogany plantation covers a total land area of approximately 50,000 ha (excluding unplanted land area) in 14 stations across Fiji.

Six are in Vanua Levu……………. to read the full story, subscribe to our e-edition. You can also pay through Vodafone’s MPAISA platform.



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