Kraon Toktok Wetem Dokta Blong Kraon

2 international experts lo economic development lo “Centre For Independent Studies” (CIS) lo Australia oli faenem se kastomari land tenure system blo yumi lo Vanuatu emi “cause for economic stagnation”. In other words, tufala stap talem se fasin blo holem taet kraon lo fasin blo kastom emi wan stampa rison why economi blo kantri ya emi no kro lo las 20 to 30 years since Independence.

Emeritus Professor Helen Hughes emi wan Senior Fellow mo Gaurav Sodhi emi wan Researcher lo CIS lo Australia mo tufala nao italem toktok ya lo wan ripot blo tufala wea oli printim lo wan bulliten blo CIS.

Anyone wea emi folem kud rod blo economy blo yumi since independence pai emi save andestanem why tufala experts ya oli sakem toktok olsem and “maybe” tufala kat wan kud rison blo mekem toktok ya, from economic growth blo Vanuatu emi neva ko high bitim 7% wea emi ajivim lo 2006/2007.
Long kontex blo kraon, result blo research study blo tufala ya emi stap traem talem lo yumi se ekonomi blo Vanuatu emi no kro as anticipated from 80% blo kraon tru out Vanuatu emi still stap anda lo ‘custom’.

Long 1975, five years before independence, per capita income blo Vanuatu citizen emi around US$1,064 (or VT116,000). 30 years later lo 2005, per capital income emi improve by VT9,000 nomo iko lo around US$1150 or VT125,000. Emia emi representem wan improvement blo just around 7.8% lo 30 years wea emi semak lo 0.25% everi yia.

Problem se ol measurements blo per income capita emi representem ol ‘man wea iwok’ lo Port Vila mo Luganville nomo wea oli stap lo ol kraon wea emi kat lease title lo em.

So wat about olgeta wea oli stap lo rural area, wea oli live lo 90% blo kraon wea emi still stap anda lo ‘traditional land tenure system’?

Any citizen emi save realaesem se no matter wea Vanuatu emi katover 12,000 square kilometers blo rich agricultural land mo wan bikfala marine resource base, Vanuatu emi still no make use lo resources blo em blo emi save catch up wetem high cost of living wea ol citizens oli stap fasem today mo population growth wea emi stap kam up bitim economic growth rate.

For over 30 years nao, wanem ol economist oli refer lo em olsem “per capita income” blo yumi lo Vanuatu ino kam antap nating mo emi semak nomo istap no mata wea price blo everi nara samting wea yumi nidim emi stap ko antap olgeta.

Asian Development Bank emi talem lo 2005 se “the most worrying policy issue is still that of how to deal with the long-term decline in income per head, particularly in rural areas”. Lo 2004, income per head emi low bitim income per head lo 1984. Emia emi minim se income per head lo population emi stap ko daon. Lo most lo rural area, ol ordinary man mo woman Vanuatu oli no save se toktok ya “Income” emi minim wanem from simple rison se ‘mani ino ron’ lo plante ples lo rural area, despite the fact that oli sitdaon lo sam lo ol most valuable kraon lo kantri.

Long Vanuatu today, land leases registration emi kavremap nomo 10% blo everi kraon lo Vanuatu we emi includum ova 13,000 ‘registered leases’ tru out Vanuatu. Emia emi minim se 90% blo everi kraon blo Vanuatu emi stap anda ‘kastom kavanens’ or anda traditional land tenure system blo wan wan aelan tru out Vanuatu.

Wan nara ripot wea World Bank emi releasim lo 2010, emi showem se ova 90% blo ol registered leases istap lo ‘rural’ mo smol namba blo leases nomo istap lo tufala town blo Port Vila mo Luganville.

90% blo ol kraon tru out Vanuatu oli no kat title mo emi no regista therefore landowner or man ples emi no save usum blo mekem any commercial business development lo em. Landowner emi no save usum olsem ‘collarteral’ blo mekem wan smol loan blo investem lo any worthwhile projects wea emi save contribute blo impruvum ‘per income capita’ blo em. Only once income per head emi kam kud, then pai Gross Domestic Product or GDP blo kantri pai emi save improve.

Lo rural, income emi low from ino kat commercial aktiviti lo 80% blo kraon wea emi stap anda lo ‘custom’. Emia nao fundamental point wea tufala experts ya oli traem blo talem taem oli se “customary land tenure is a cause for economic stagnation’ lo Vanuatu.

Fact we istap today is that 80% blo pipol oli still holem 90% blo kraon anda lo ‘custom’ pe mani or cash economy emi ron nomo lo 10% blo olgeta wea oli holem kraon anda lo wan ‘registered lease’ wea emi operate anda lo wan formal land tenure system wea yumi introdusum afta lo independence 34 years ago.

Tru toktok (fact) is formal land tenure system (or land lease system) wea emi kavaremap nomo 10% blo everi kraon lo Vanuatu emi stampa commodity wea yumi usum blo mekem mani wea in turn emi contribute lo ol modest level lo growth blo GDP blo kantri ya.
So YTS emi askem, is customary land tenure a cause for economic stagnation?

Sapos yumi konvetem more kastom kraon ikam anda lo formal land lease system, pai ekonomi blo kantri pai kro?

Writer emi ting se ikat justification lo toktok ya and emi kat economic justification blo konvetem more kastom kraon ikam anda lo formal land lease system sapos yumi wantem help increasim per income capita blo ol land owners.

Writer emi biliv se unless more landowners oli konvetem kastom kraon blo olgeta ikam anda lo formal land lease system, pai ekonomi blo kantri pai emi continue blo fas istap lo ol modest levels nomo.

For more on Hughes & Sodhi’s report, go to www.cis.org.au

Author

Levi Tarosa

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