Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Landowners ‘Deposit’ Hundreds Of Acres Into Fiji Land Bank
Bank to seek out investors to develop ‘unused native land’

By Maciu Malo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 14, 2012) – Fiji’s government land bank says it's overwhelmed by the response it has received from certain landowners in the Western Division.

Director Of Land Use Laisa Raratabu said two land-owning units in Ba and Yasawa had offered more than 700 acres to be administered by the land bank.

Mrs. Raratabu said the tokatoka Yavutu of Nailaga has deposited 500 acres while the mataqali Luvuka of Naviti, Yasawa, had given 209 acres to the land bank.

"Documentation of these two lands is being prepared and at the same time we are also trying to secure investors to develop the land for the benefit of the landowners, the government and the country as a whole.

"We hope to complete the required documentation before we start with the development work.

"The land at Naviti, Yasawa, is a beachfront of 850 meters of white sandy beaches intertwined with coconut plantations and is best suited for a tourism lease.

"Apart from these two pieces of lands, we are also working closely with other landowners in Nadroga and Ba who have agreed to deposit their lands to the land bank," she said.

Tui Ba Nailaga Adi Laite Koroirua said the idea of depositing unused native land was a good move by the landowners.

Mrs. Raratabu said most of these lands had been lying idle for more than 20 years and this sort of development would allow landowners to get maximum returns from their land.

She said the department had issued 15 leases since June last year with the landowners receiving more than FJ$4 million [US$2.1 million] from these once undeveloped lands.

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