‘Reforms needed for optimum utilisation of land’

‘Reforms needed for optimum utilisation of land’

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Fiji: Land reform is a critical government output targeting the optimum utilisation of all land, said Fiji Land and Minera Resources permanent secretary, Filimone Kau.

Speaking at the Pacific Islands Geographic Information System & Remote Sensing in Suva, Kau said the government was aware of the need to open land for development and investments to maximise cultivation and market agricultural investment.

“The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources has existing structures to facilitate government initiative but we need to draw from geospatial experts and new graduates for the collection of data in the fields and the identification of land use,” he said.

“The use of different data sets from different organisations, ministries and from existing state land administration databases is vital for the identification of land designated into the Land Bank for the issuing of long term leases (99 years) to guarantee commitments for good husbandry practices with rewarding returns for both tenants and the landowners.”

Kau said the ministry was challenged with the need to establish a Geological Data Centre within the Mineral Resources Department. The centre, he said, would facilitate the integration of all data for mineral investigation and exploration, mining, geological survey and ground water assessments.

“It is expected that the centre will play a key role in the collating and dissemination of tsunami, earthquake and volcanic information. This is a critical issue for our region, given the scenarios of the past and of recent, the tragedies in Tonga and Samoa. I am sure that had we developed the facilities and expertise to interpret data we would be in a better position to manage our disaster and rehabilitation programs,” Kau added.

Source : Fijitimes.com