2 Jun 2010

Fiji's interim regime says land reform to be in place in July

3:02 pm on 2 June 2010

Fiji's interim administration says land reforms aimed at rescuing the nation's ailing sugar industry are due to be in place next month.

The non-renewal of leases by Fijian land owners and the issuing of shorter length leases have been major factors in the increase in idle land.

This in turn has reduced the cane crop which has impacted on the sugar industry which is a major contributor to Fiji's economy.

The permanent secretary for sugar, Manasa Vaniqi, says he believes the tenure system is at the root of the sugar industry's problems:

"What government is trying now is trying to make sure there's a long tenure system of 70 or 90 years to make sure that land use is viable and sustainable. We have the land reform in place now, that is currently being done and a land reform programme will mean that landowners are very much willing to give land out again for lease."

Fiji's permanent secretary for sugar, Manasa Vaniqi