NRI: Hectares of customary land snatched

National, Normal

The National, Friday, 27th May 2011

WESTERN, Central, West New Britain have had thousands of hectares of customary land snatched over the course of eight years under the special agricultural and business leases, according to an updated copy of the spreadsheet on SABL acquired from the National Research Institute.
The spread sheet lists SABL activities in the country since 2003 when the majority of the customary lands were acquired under the special lease agreement and granted to businesses.
Western topped the list with more than 2 million hectares from portions 1C, and 5-9C in Guavi and Aworra, including 14C of Kutubu and 27C within Kiunga acquired since April 28, 2009.
Land portions were respectively accorded to Tumu Timbers Development Ltd, La-Ali Investments Ltd, Mudau Investment Ltd, Godae Land Group Inc, Haubawe Holdings Ltd, Foifoi Ltd, Tosigiba Investment Ltd and North East West Investments.
The land acquisition and transfers were gazetted with the gazette number and year stated in the report as well as the lease term from 40-99 years.
Central and WNB have had more than 200,000 hectares of customary land taken under SABL.
More than 12,000 hectares from Central were customary land from Rigo district acquired under the Changhae Tapioka (PNG) Ltd business arrangement with the government in 2007.
In the report, the Central administration said that as at Oct 17, 2007, they had not sighted an agreement by and between the company and customary landowners.
The state has since then, granted more than 5.2 million hectares of customary under SABL.
The majority of these customary lands were obtained from Central, Western, West New Britain while a few were from East New Britain, New Ireland, West Sepik, Northern, Gulf, Morobe, and Madang.
The latest acquisition took place on March 14 when 112,400 hectares of customary land of
Sanai and Annaberg in Bogia and Ramu was taken over by Urasir Resources Ltd.