THE iTaukei Growers Association has blamed the iTaukei Land Trust Board for hindering their plans to venture into cane farming business.
Association co-ordinator Adi Sivo Ravuwale said a major concern was the fees charged by TLTB for new tenants to take over a farm with lease arrears owed by former tenants.
Adi Sivo said some former tenants owed outstanding lease payments to TLTB and tenants on the farms, could not proceed with cane farming because they can't afford to pay the fees.
"Some cases of our members in Seaqaqa whose fathers have passed away and still owe TLTB lease money. Their sons who occupy the land can't grow sugar cane because of the debt owed by their fathers," she said. "We request the TLTB to bring down the amount that will allow them to start paying the full fee over a certain period or even better write off the debt of their fathers."
TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki said TLTB had a write-off policy although there were certain criteria to be met before any write-off was recommended.
"It's a last resort only when other measures have failed. If lessees are deceased then the ownership of leases needs to be regularised and the grant of probate has to be sought from the High Court," said Mr Qetaki.