20 Aug 2007

More sugarcane farmers in Fiji could become landless

11:00 am on 20 August 2007

A regional manager for Fiji's Native Land Trust Board says about 520 sugarcane farmers could be landless by the end of the year.

Solomoni Nata of the northwest region says along with the five hundred odd leases due to expire this year, another 300 were due next year.

He said some leases had been renewed, mostly because of the goodwill of the landowners.

Mr Nata said the NLTB was "most willing to help foster this good relationship and process new leases to sitting tenants".

But, he told the Fiji Times there were also cases where the landowners want to take the land and cultivate it themselves.

He said the NLTB was working together with landowners who wished to extend the leases of their tenants in their joint consultation meetings.