MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 25) - The first batch of mahogany timber from Fiji is expected to head for the United States in August.

Mahogany has become an issue in Fiji as indigenous landowners are claiming ownership and demanding a share of the proceeds of the sale of the mahogany timber.

Fiji Harwood Corporation Limited Deputy Chairman, Joe Singh, says the U.S. is the world’s number one economy and a lucrative market of which Fiji can expect high returns of its mahogany.

Singh says Fiji can expect annual returns of about FJD$150 million from mahogany sales.

The Fiji Hardwood Corporation is currently harvesting the mahogany in the government’s plantations on the island of Viti Levu to test the quality and assess the value of the mahogany. 

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