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Positive lease talks

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, August 09, 2014

DISCUSSIONS over lease renewals between representatives of 72 cane growers in Nawaicoba and indigenous landowners of Yako Village, on the outskirts of Nadi, are continuing.

ITaukei Land Trust Board CEO Alipate Qetaki said talks held over the past few weeks between the landowning unit —yavusa Leweivunaniu — the Fiji Sugar Corporation, Sugar Cane Growers Council and Sugar Industry Tribunal were "positive and successful".

Last month, members of the landowning unit told TLTB it wanted some of the land leased to Nawaicoba cane farmers returned for their own use.

However, industry stakeholders and growers reps called for dialogue on the issue as the area was one of the most productive.

"Of the 72 farms involved, 69 leases have been inspected so far," Mr Qetaki said.

"Only two out of the 69 leases have been confirmed to be returned to the landowning unit."

He added that only 31 applications for lease renewal had been received by TLTB.

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