TLTB: Not enough staff to monitor all cane farms in Tavua

Umesh Prasad speaking during a consultation on the National Sugar Industry policy in Tavua. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

THE iTaukei Land Trust Board says it does not have enough staff members to monitor all sugarcane farms in Tavua.

The issue came to light during a National Sugar Industry Policy consultation in Tavua this week.

Tagitagi, Tavua, farmer Umesh Prasad said there was vacant land in Tavua and it was imperative that agencies like the TLTB find out and ask why the land was vacant.

He said farms in Tagitagi were all native land.

“Why are growers not producing cane? You have to go and find it out from the grower,” he said.

“Whose responsibility is it, iTaukei Land Trust Board (iTLTB) or Sugar Ministry?”

A representative from the TLTB said there were conditions in the lease and lessees had to fully utilise at least 10 acres.

“You have to plant cane, 10 acres,” the rep said.

“When we go out for awareness and consultation, we always tell farmers and landowners, if any lessee is not utilising land where you can plant cane, tell us.”

He said limited staff members made it difficult to monitor all farms at all times.

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