Fiji Time: 1:30 PM on Wednesday 21 February

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$3.72m for landowners under CBUL

Manasa Kalouniviti
Thursday, February 15, 2018

THE iTaukei Land Trust Board on Tuesday received a cheque for $3.72 million from the Ministry of Agriculture as payment from the Committee for Better Utilisation of Land (CBUL) program for iTaukei landowners.

"A total of 1479 iTaukei landowning units whose land are leased out for agricultural purposes will receive this payment of which 733 are in the Western Division, 347 in the Northern Division and 395 in the Central/Eastern divisions," TLTB general manager Tevita Kuruvakadua said.

He assured that the board would disburse the funds to individual landowners' bank accounts and said they should expect these funds in their bank accounts by midday on Tuesday.

In 2010 Government had set up the CBUL program to assist farmers, especially sugarcane farmers, whose land leases had expired and also to provide incentives for landowners to lease their land which were lying idle.

A Government media release on the issue said $50.5m had been paid as rent subsidy by the Government since 2010 and this had been paid out in full to landowners as TLTB did not charge any poundage.

Government said the rent subsidy incentive also addressed the inequitable returns to landowners because rent on an average 5 per cent of the Unimproved Capital Values (UCV) of ALTA charged by TLTB was topped up by Government to 10 per cent.

The CBUL initiative has impacted positively on the renewal of expired leases, especially for cane farms, which has now reached more than 80 per cent.

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