Fiji's First Landowning Unit Receives Government Grant To Develop Native Land

Yadua Village to turn 12 acres into high end residential lots

By Repeka Nasiko

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 29, 2017) – The Tokatoka o Namara of Yadua Village in Nadroga is the first landowning unit to receive a Government grant that encourages the development of native land.

The landowners consisting of about 170 villagers offered 12 acres of their land for the development of high end residential lots.

At its groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, Namara Trust chairman Nemia Builoma said the development was the first of a few initiatives that the landowners would be involved in to make use of more than 160 acres of land under their care.

Mr Builoma said five of the 13 sea view lots had been bought by international buyers.

"From the deposit we've been able to pay for a contractor to develop and subdivide the lots," he said.

"The lots sell at different prices with some selling at $100,000. [US$48,000]"

Mr Builoma said the Government grant had enabled the landowners to start their investment that would expand to other parts of their land.

"One of the reasons why we wanted to develop and invest in our land is our younger generation.

"We wanted to start a source of income that would allow us to pay for their education."

Chief guest Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said this was the first Government-funded development of iTaukei land.

Mr Bainimarama said the fund was sourced from a $10 million [US$4.8 million] allocation for native land developments in last year's budget.

"The iTaukei people today operate from a position of strength unrivalled by any other time in our history," he said.

He said with a development cost of $2.5m [US$1.2 million], the landowners would be able to sell the lots and make financial gains for their communities.

Mr Bainimarama also launched a similar residential lot development in Saweni, Lautoka yesterday afternoon.

About $4m [US$1.9 million] would be spent on the residential lots in Vuda, Wairabetia and Saweni.

Fiji Times Online.
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