12 Oct 2006

Over 10,000 Fiji farm leases expire in next 25 years

12:00 pm on 12 October 2006

The Australia Fiji Business Council has been told that 10,300 farm leases in Fiji will expire over the next 25 years and pose a major challenge to the country's export potential.

The Fiji Sun reports that the governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Savenaca Narube, said 2,800 farm leases will expire in the next two years alone.

Mr Narube said sugar production is far below its potential and exports are performing poorly compared with past years.

He warned that over 60-percent of Fiji's sugar is exported to the European Union whose preferential prices will be reduced by 36-percent in the next four years.