The Customary Land Tenure System is again seen as a constraint to the Government's National Rice Programme.

This was revealed when the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Hon. Selwyn Riumana delivered a statement on Rice prior to the passing of the 2008 Supplementary Bill.

Hon. Riumana said the CNURA Government is serious about addressing the production of rice however the land tenure system has delayed the smooth implementation of the programmes.

"Customary land, which make up 80 percent of our total land mass in this country remains outside the formal legal system and is recognized as one of the main constrains hindering rice cultivation," says Hon. Riumana.

He stated that to address this limitation; the government is working very closely with communities, farmers and the resource owners to find ways and means to grow rice.

"The determination of the CNURA Government to grow rice given the current soaring prices has enabled the Ministry to provide assistance to 14 participating communities, groups and villages," reveals Hon. Riumana.

The Leader of Opposition, Hon Manasseh Sogavare questioned Hon. Riumana on why the price of locally grown rice is still quite expensive.

In reply, Minister Riumana said the price of locally grown rice in the rural area is quite low and people who bought the products are happy with the cost.