The Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, the Hon. Jone Usamate on day one (13th of August, 2020) of his Western field tour, visited the Juxta Beach development site in Navakai, Nadi. He also visited Rokpalm in Denarau, attended a meeting with the Vanua of Nakovacake, the Field 40 development project and the Korea Resort development site and a number of field site inspections.
One of the highlight of the field visit was when the Hon. Minister approved the issuance of lease to Mr. Matalami of Malele in Tavua.
Mr. Matalami has been occupying the 12.8475 hectares of state land in Malele, Tavua for more than 13 years now.
He was involved in a sales and purchase agreement worth $65,000 in 2013 without the Director Lands consent. He paid off the amount through cane proceeds.
Mr. Matalami than visited the Lands Department in 2013 to enquire about the issuance of his lease, whereby, he was informed that the lease of the said land had expired in 1987.
He was also informed by Lands Department that he was involved in illegal land dealing as the lease had expired.
Mr. Matalami since then was trying to get a proper lease for the said land that he was cultivating.
So today, when the Hon. Minister visited Mr. Matalami’s residence and approved the issuance of the lease for the said land, he was overjoyed.
“I would like to thank the Lands Department and the Fiji First Government for finally approving my lease,” Mr. Matalami said.
He said during the last cane harvesting season, he harvested 60 tonnes of cane but for the next cane harvesting season he is looking at producing 200 tonnes of cane.
Hon. Minister, Jone Usamate took the time to advise the general public, for any state land dealings, it is very important to visit their nearest lands office for prior consultation to avoid getting involved in any illegal dealings.