Min­istry Is­sues CBUL Pay­ment

Fiji Sun - - Sunbiz -

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture is­sued a cheque of $3.72 mil­lion as pay­ment from the Com­mit­tee for Bet­ter Util­i­sa­tion of Land (CBUL) pro­gramme to the iTaukei Lands Trust Board (iTLTB) to­day. iTaukei Lands Trust Board gen­eral man­ager, Te­vita Ku­ru­vakadua, while ac­knowl­edg­ing re­ceipt of the pay­ment, as­sured that the board would dis­burse the funds to in­di­vid­ual landown­ers bank ac­counts.

A to­tal of 1479 iTaukei landown­ing units whose land are leased out for agri­cul­tural pur­poses will re­ceive this pay­ment of which 733 in the West­ern Di­vi­sion, 347 in the North­ern Di­vi­sion and 395 in the Cen­tral/East­ern Di­vi­sions. Mr Ku­ru­vakadua said that landown­ers should ex­pect these funds in their bank ac­counts by mid­day yes­ter­day.

The CBUL was an ini­tia­tive set up by the Gov­ern­ment in 2010 to as­sist farm­ers in agri­cul­tural ar­eas es­pe­cially sug­ar­cane farm­ers whose land leases had ex­pired while at the same time pro­vides in­cen­tives for landown­ers to al­low for leas­ing of their land which is ly­ing idle.

The rent sub­sidy in­cen­tive ad­dresses the in­equitable re­turn that landown­ers re­ceive as rent on av­er­age five per cent of the Un­im­proved Cap­i­tal Val­ues (UCV) of ALTA charged by TLTB and top up by an­other five per cent by the Gov­ern­ment to 10 per cent.

A to­tal of $50.5m has been paid as rent sub­sidy by the Gov­ern­ment since the start of the ini­tia­tive in 2010 which has been paid out in full to landown­ers as TLTB does not charge any poundage.

Around 42 per cent of these pay­ments have gone to landown­ers in Ba prov­ince while 32 per cent was paid to landown­ers in Macu­ata prov­ince.

The ini­tia­tive has pro­vided an eq­ui­table plat­form for landown­ers to al­low leas­ing of their land and re­ceiv­ing a fair re­turn in the form of land rent whilst com­pelling the farm­ers to be pro­duc­tive as they op­er­ate un­der the se­cu­rity of their land ten­ure.

It has a pos­i­tive im­pact on the re­newal of ex­pired leases es­pe­cially for cane which has now reached over 80 per cent.

The CBUL ini­tia­tive has had sev­eral sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic and so­cial spinoffs in pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity to TLTB ten­ants and their fam­i­lies, re­verse re­lo­ca­tion hard­ship from farms, suf­fi­cient land to sup­port the sugar in­dus­try and other key eco­nomic sec­tors and eq­ui­table re­turn to the landown­ers. Source: DEPTFO News

It has a pos­i­tive im­pact on the re­newal of ex­pired leases es­pe­cially for cane which has now reached over 80 per cent.

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