By EDDIE OSIFELO
MINISTRY of Forest and Research will issue licence to out growers and plantation owners this year.
Permanent Secretary, Vaeno Vigulu confirmed this when asked by Member of Parliament for East Makira, Lilly Mafane in the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament yesterday.
Under the Forest Act 1999, resources owners are encouraged to protect and manage their trees to avoid over-exploitation.
Vigulu said the ministry has submitted a drafting instruction to Attorney General Chamber office to renew it and should be ready after the Easter break.
He said all applicants must apply to Commissioner of Forest to get the license.
A license fee costs about $1500 with performance bond of $50,000.
Chairman of Public Accounts Committee, Douglas Ete welcomed the move by the ministry to issue license to out growers and plantation owners.
Ete said his family has a big plantation of teak trees in East Malaita and the initiative will help them to cut down the trees and export.
However, Ete said the $50,000 performance bond maybe bit expensive for out growers and plantation owners in the rural areas.