30 Mar 2004

Fiji's Cane Growers Council criticises proposed changes to land lease act

8:18 am on 30 March 2004

Fiji's Cane Growers Council says a new bill to alter the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Act or ALTA is 'regressive' and isn't beneficial to the sugar industry and the agriculture sector.

It's chief executive, Jaganath Sami, says the bill takes a narrow approach to agriculture.

He says they can't understand what this piece of legislation aims to achieve.

"They're talking about increasing land rents from six to ten percent, and also talking about releasing the minimum of thirty years that we enjoy now under ALTA to twenty years. Obviously this is a retro step. We are taking the clock backwards instead of more concessions to attract people to remain in the agricultural sector, we are doing the opposite."

Jaganath Sami says the sugar cane growers council protects the rights of tenant cane growers, and will not support these proposed draft amendments to ALTA.