Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lands ministry identifies idle state land

Fiji Live News - 5 July 2010

Fiji’s Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources is now trying to determine and identify the total number of idle and un-utilized state land.

Permanent secretary for Lands, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni said the exercise has already begun in the central division as part of the Ministry’s commitment to land reform. 

“The data and information collected will help us correct an extremely inequitable distribution of land, to increase productivity,” he said. 

Land reform is part of government’s overall intent to facilitate access to un-utilized land whilst at the same time, look at ways to encourage the more efficient and productive use of land.

The Ministry has to this end, established a Land Reform Division following the Prime Minister’s endorsement for the Ministry to go ahead with its programmes to implement the Land Reform initiative.

Leweni is encouraging land owners to come forward if they want their land to be fully utilized with the land bank now established.

“We are not interfering with the work of the Native Land Trust Board as this land bank is for landowners who still have their lying idle which can be used for development,” he said.

Leweni hopes this will also help investors who are looking for land for development.

“Land constraints has and will continue to serve as the drive for the people, therefore we need to make strategic shifts towards a higher value-added and more land efficient economic activities,” he said.

He added at the same time, the government has to think up more productive ways of using land to support future growth.

“Higher productive use of land will enable us to accommodate both higher economic activities and a higher quality of life for the people.

He established that the Divisional surveyor’s in the north and the west are now working closely with their respective Commissioners to indentify land that has already been leased out but remains un-utilized or left idle.

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