FIJIANS will now be able to apply to convert agricultural land for residential, commercial or industrial use.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama made this announcement in a Ministry of Information statement last night when his government lifted the moratorium on agricultural land.
He said this would "allow ordinary Fijians the option to use agricultural land for other productive purposes, including the option to build new homes".
"With the growth of our towns and cities, surrounding land is best utilised for residential, commercial or industrial use, and now Fijians will have the freedom to take advantage of this," he said. He added there were many people who lived on agricultural land and were unable to build new homes for them and their families.
"These individuals will now be able to build new homes and receive a legal title, greatly enhancing their sense of security."
Commodore Bainimarama stressed, however, that the decision to lift the moratorium would in no way threaten the amount of land available for agricultural purposes. He said through the Committee for the Better Utilisation of Land (CBUL), more agricultural leases were now being renewed.