Kiribati. On a visit to Fiji, Kiribati President Taneti Maamau said that the cultivation on the land that the previous administration bought in 2014 on the Fijian island of Vanua Levu would soon begin. According to Countryaah.com, Maamau visited the nearby village of Naviavia, where he assured residents that the project would be rewarding for them as well as for Kiribati. The more than 2,200 acres of property was purchased for just under US $ 9 million and was intended to be used for the cultivation of forage crops such as vegetables and kava, which is used to produce the slightly stimulating beverage of the same name.
In February, the Kiribati government rejected an offer from the Russian businessman and politician Anton Bakov, who wanted to lease three uninhabited islands to try to revive an imperial empire under Romanov. Bakov had claimed on social media that Kiribati President Taneti Maamau was positive about the plans, which meant that Bakov would invest the equivalent of US $ 350 million over a number of years. In December, Bakov said he had instead concluded an agreement with the Gambia government.