Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Native lease to be priced at market rates

Fiji's native land leases are going to be priced at market rates as part of the government’s ambitious land reform plans.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum said the land reform initiative will be spearheaded by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and should see the unlocking of much of Fiji’s unused land.

“Land reform essentially means making land available for productive use and longer tenure. Under the Agricultural Landlord and Tennant’s Act, you have agricultural land tenure for a very short lease period. The idea is to make that available for a longer period where the landowners themselves actually benefit and would-be investors are able to access that land, pay market rates and get into agriculture,” Sayed-Khaiyum.

Previous governments have tried unsuccessfully to bring about land reforms in Fiji, with their failure being blamed on politics.

One of the main issues that had been thrashed about in the past was the land rental under ALTA, which is said to be among the lowest in the world at six percent of the land’s Unimproved Capital Value.

The ruling Bainimarama government however has put land reform down in its 10-point plan, a schedule of what it wants to achieve by 2020.

Sayed-Khaiyum said consultations with various stakeholders, including native landowners, have already begun.

The communally-owned native land makes up some 80 percent of Fiji’s available land but most of that remains largely unused.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Give a fool enough rope and he will hang himself........................................