27 Nov 2012

Fiji farming leader doesn't expect tax incentive will have much impact

4:25 pm on 27 November 2012

The National Farmer's Union in Fiji believes there may be problems finding land for those wanting to take advantage of new agricultural tax concessions.

Under the 2013 budget, a tax free area will be created in the east of the main island of Viti Levu and those investing a minimum of nearly 600 thousand US dollars in agriculture will qualify for a tax free holiday for 13 years.

If that investment is in the dairy industry the tax holiday will stretch to 20 years.

The National President of the Farmers Union, Surendra Lal, says he doesn't think there is much opportunity for huge developments

"Most of these pieces of land are tied up, currently tied up with dairy farming, cash crop farming and this sugar cane farming. For any entrepreneur coming with huge investment requiring a large and wide land area, well that is what we have to see whether there is availability for huge development."

Mr Lal says various incentives have been tried before, but for whatever reason have not generated much investment.

But a local chamber of commerce believes the area is wide open for investment and that the incentives will give the required push for development