Sunday, June 08, 2008

NLTB in the dark

Sai's Comment:
- Despicable is all what any decent person with integrity could label the blatant electioneering that is already being done by members of the illegal interim regime in Fiji. This article is a clear example. Even the NLTB does not seem to know what Chaudhry is already promising to his cane farmer supporters. It is truly grotescue espcially when he and others in the current regime were supposed to have agreed NOT to run for elections when appointed by the PM. Then again, being two-faced is pretty normal for this regime and its members just in order to cling on to power. Fiji and and its people wil be awake to this come the election in 2009, when it does happen.

NLTB in the dark - Sunday, June 08, 2008
THE Native Land Trust Board branch in the Northern Division is not aware of any negotiation with the interim regime to re-engage cane farmers in sugar farming in Labasa.
North manager Joreti Dakuwaqa said he did not know of any negotiation between the interim regime and NLTB to bring back farmers from Viti Levu to Labasa to start cane farming on idle land.
His comments follow a statement by interim Sugar Minister Mahendra Chaudhry at the National Farmers Union meeting in Labasa last week that sugar cane farmers who had left Labasa after their lease expired could return to farm and negotiation had started with NLTB and landowners.
Mr Dakuwaqa said no negotiation had taken place in Labasa between the NLTB, landowners and interim regime over plans to lease idle land for 50 years to farmers. He said the negotiation could have taken place with management at headquarters in Suva and that the north office had not been contacted about it but NLTB spokesman Nimilote Naivalumaira said he needed to confirm whether discussions have taken place before making a comment.
This week, Tui Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere said any plans to bring back farmers to the north for cane farming for a 50-year lease must be in favour of landowners.
He said if negotiation for a 50 -year lease eventuated, the landowners should receive better payment in the deal because at the end of the day, the welfare of landowners was paramount to him and his chiefs.
At the NFU meeting last week, Mr Chaudhry told farmers that talks were held to re-engage cane farmers into sugar farming at taxpayers' expenses.
He told NFU members if there was talk about barren land to be revitalised at government expense so that farmers could return, then it would be done. Mr Chaudhry also told the farmers they needed to produce at least four million tonnes of sugar by 2010 and if they failed to do it, the industry would not make a profit.
He told the farmers the interim Government was interested in the welfare of farmers.

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