Christmas came early for the Mataqali Volivoli of Ketei Village in Savusavu.
This is after they received their first premium and land rent payment for their 100 acres of land deposited in the Land Bank.
The cheque of $115,700 is the first payout for five of the 14 subsistence agricultural lots subdivided in the 100 acres that was deposited.
Handing over the cheque, Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar says progressive payments for the remaining nine lots will be paid out as and when received.
Each lot averages an area between 6 to 8 acres for agricultural use, with premium payment ranging between $20,000 to $30,000; and yearly rental of about $1,200 to $1,800.
Turaga Ni Yavusa, Joji Kauleta says the decision to deposit their unused land into the Land Bank was agreed to by the village elders.
The payout will allow the village to invest and undertake development projects.
Kauleta is also encouraging other landowning units to also deposit some of their unused lands into the Land Bank instead of leaving it idle.
Land deposited into the Land Bank is either subleased or leased by potential investors and farmers from the State for a period of up to 99 years.
All the proceeds go directly to the landowners.