Rates for landowners engaged in mahogany leases with the Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited (FHCL) have been reviewed for the first time since 2010, and will see rental and stumpage rates increase by 19 percent.
Premium rates will increase by 20 percent, with these rates to be back dated to January 1 this year, amid major reforms announced by the Mahogany Industry Council.
The resolutions approve a restructure of the Council’s mahogany licence issuance framework to reflect industry developments since the establishment of the licensing system in 2011.
“The new licensing system is based on a more realistic annual log production capacity of 75,000 cubic metres and will also standardise log prices, limit licences to two per log grade and revise purchase protocols,” a Government statement confirmed.
“Consultations on the licensing restructure were conducted with existing licensees and the Fiji Mahogany Trust, which represents mahogany landowners. The restructure is expected to begin on 1 January 2017.”
To facilitate the sale of surplus Grade 1 and 2 mahogany logs currently stored in concentration yards, temporary licences will be issued to FHCL to call for expressions of interests from interested buyers.
As per the resolutions, a central concentration yard will be established at Waivunu in Serua to improve the coordination of log sales and delivery, while the FHCL’s nursery in Nukurua, Tailevu will reactivate its planting program with an aim of covering 1, 250 hectares by year’s end.
The Mahogany Industry Council plans to meet on a quarterly basis to monitor the progress of these initiatives.