The scenic, seaside stretch of Yadua, outside Sigatoka recently welcomed the development of a Government-funded sub-division project on its Native land.
Belonging to the Korokula land-owning unit, there will be 13 residential lots developed, to the tune of nearly $2.5 million.
The start of the development was officially marked with a ground-breaking ceremony by Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, on June 28, and is amongst a total of four sub-divisions on Native leases being footed by Government around the country.
“We know that many landowning units don’t have the upfront funds to carry out such developments,” he said.
“I also know that because of the non-availability of such funds many landowning units were vulnerable – vulnerable to interests with far deeper pockets that sought to lease their land, add value through capital investment and make a killing, leasing that same land out to other parties,”.
Yadua’s development includes roads and water and electricity connections, enabling landowners to directly sell their leases on the market and is part of a $10 million Government scheme to assist indigenous landowners develop their land for residential and commercial activities.
The Prime Minister confirmed that Yadua was the first of four projects to benefit under the grant and said he was excited to watch the land develop and serve the people of Yadua, whose village comes under the traditional domain of Cuvu, the seat of power in Nadroga province.
“When you lease this land after the development is completed it will benefit every Fijian. It will benefit you as the developer, it will provide economic opportunities to small and medium sized businesses in this area, there will be more construction thereby providing more jobs and it will give confidence to investors to invest more through security of 99 year leases.
“This subdivision will create more economic opportunities for Fiji and all Fijians,”. Other Native leased sub-divisions will be developed at Vuda, Saweni and Wairabetia, outside Lautoka.”
Around 91 per cent of Fiji’s landmass comes under Native lease and efforts to encourage more utilization of idle and undeveloped land led to the establishment of a Land Bank under the Land Use Act by the Ministry for Lands in 2010.
The Government’s recently-announced National Budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year noted that 85 parcels of land have been deposited with the Land Bank, for market-based lease payments, and that likewise, tenants had the possibility of benefitting from longer term leases with secure contractual arrangements. The Land Bank Investment Program has been allocated $2.5 million.
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