The Cabinet has approved the provision of more than $1million to clear outstanding lease payments and lease arrears for 218 farmers.
This will facilitate the issuance of long-term leases (50 years) to 218 farmers and encourage them to continue farming.
It adds that the assistance will boost the sugar and non-sugar sectors’ long-term viability and sustainability.
It will also incentivize farmers to continue farming, and thereby discourage rural to urban migration.
A task force was formed in September last year to deal with issues regarding land leases, renewals, and land premiums for sugar and non-sugar agricultural land.
Following consultations, the Taskforce noted that a total of 2,180 agriculture leases will be expiring in the period 2023–2030, including the lease rental arrears of 218 farmers.
The Cabinet has also directed the Ministry of Finance to further assess the renewal of 1,780 TLTB leases that will be expiring from 2023–2030 and propose necessary lease premium initiatives in the 2024–2025 budget.