Cane Farmers Rent Arrears Hit $4.9m
ITLTB’s challenge are arrears issues
The rent arrears in sugarcane leases stands at $ 4.9 million, according to iTaukei Land Trust Board deputy manager operations, research and development, Solomone Nata.
Mr Nata said this while tabling submissions at the Standing Committee meeting on Economic Affairs in Parliament yesterday.
He said one of the major challenges they faced was rent arrears in sugarcane leases.
Apart from rent arrears in sugarcane lease, the board also faced other issues like low productivity in sugarcane farms, farms left idle and absent tenants.
He said some of the difficulties faced by their officers were expired land leases and tenants not applying for new leases.
“Rent arrears preclude lease renewals; low level of productivity in cane farms and yield rates; increase in NIL production farms and landowners demand land for their own use,” he said. Mr Nata said family disputes and legal implications of absent tenants were major problems they faced. He also reminded the committee that all land would not be leased as they considered the importance of a sustainable environment. “We need to look at the importance of the natural resources around us,” he said. Mr Nata said some of the problems that iTLTB were facing had not been faced before. Edited by Rusiate Mataika