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State calls for land deposits

Maciu Malo
Thursday, February 07, 2013

THE government is asking iTaukei landowners to deposit land into the land bank because almost all State land have been leased out.

Director for Lands Mosese Tagicakibau said State land covered a small percentage of Fiji's total land mass.

"We hardly have any State land available for leasing since we only administer less than 5 per cent of the country's total land mass," Mr Tagicakibau said.

"Native land make up more than 83 per cent of the land mass in Fiji while freehold land has around 9 per cent," he said.

"Most of the State land have been leased out and the only development we currently have is the foreshore reclamation.

"In fact, this is also another reason we have set up the Landuse Department to identify all idle and unoccupied Native lands for State's use.

"That is the reason we are also investing Native lands into the land bank, to accommodate applications for Crown lease," he added.

The ministry will also face another challenge in securing 5000 acres for the 50 agriculture scholarship students of the Fiji National University expected to graduate at the end of the year.

As announced in last year's national budget by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, students graduating in the agriculture scholarship scheme would get a loan of $70,000.

Commodore Bainimarama said this would allow them to buy 100 acres of farm land, a house, a shed, a tractor and basic farm implements, fertilizer and other necessary materials plus $2000 start up cash.

He said the students would learn a variety of farming skills during their one year course.

The program will be launched by Commodore Bainimarama at the FNU Koronivia campus today.





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