Nata calls for a repeal of Act

April 2, 2024 6:35 am

[File Photo]

The iTaukei Land Trust Board has highlighted concerns regarding outdated laws governing land management, especially the Agriculture Landlord and Tenant Act or ALTAInterim Chief Executive Solomoni Nata emphasizes that ALTA, originating from colonial times no longer aligns with current needs and practices.

Nata says the Act allows individuals to lease land for farming through the Ministry of Agriculture rather than the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB), undermining TLTB’s authority.

“ALTA grants tenants significant power and authority, including the ability to dispute rent payments through tribunals. Moreover, landowners are obligated to compensate tenants upon lease expiration, regardless of whether the tenant fulfilled their financial obligations.”

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Nata highlights the cumbersome process for TLTB to make changes or assert authority under ALTA, requiring approval from external bodies like the Fiji Mahogany Council.

He highlights that the current setup limits TLTB’s ability to manage leases effectively and hampers the authority of other relevant departments like Forestry and Environment.

In response to these challenges, Nata calls for the repeal or modification of ALTA to grant TLTB and other agencies greater autonomy in managing leases under the Itaukei Land Trust Act.

He also stresses the importance of updating laws to better reflect contemporary needs and facilitate efficient land management practices.