THE idea of lease security bonus payments came about after a struggle to get leases renewed upon their expiry, says Fiji Pine Group of Companies executive chairman Faiz Khan.
"When Fiji Pine approached the landowners for lease renewals, we were told by many landowners that they were unwilling to renew the leases because they had not seen any benefits out of the pine industry," he said.
While speaking at the official handover of lease security bonus payments in Lautoka last week, Mr Khan said despite these challenges, some landowners still chose to extend the lease.
"Despite many landowner' concerns, three years ago, Lololo forest landowners from the Ba Closed areas agreed to renew the leases for more than 10,000 acres of land on our promise of change for a better future."
Mr Khan said the payment was part of the change in motion with the delivery of that promise.
The head of landowning unit Tubuniga in Sigatoka, Josaia Driso, said the payment was a positive development in the relationship between the landowner and the Fiji Pine Group of Companies.
"I agree with the chairman about some of us not really getting any benefits from the lease," he said.