Goodwill payments still made to mataqalis, consultation hears

Anil Kumar speaks at the National Sugar Industry Policy Consultation in Sigatoka. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

DESPITE regulations in place barring canegrowers from making payments directly to indigenous landowners, some farmers say they still have to make goodwill payments to mataqali members in exchange for lease renewals.

This was one of the issues highlighted by farmers during the National Sugar Industry Policy consultation in Sigatoka this week. Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive officer Sundresh Chetty said Government had a policy where direct payment to the mataqali was illegal.

“You need not pay any payment to the mataqali if it’s native land you need to go through the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) for negotiation of your land lease renewal,” he said.

More on this story in today’s (Friday, February 1, 2019) edition of The Fiji Times.

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