Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Farmlands ruined by highways

Published:Friday | November 20, 2015 | 11:05 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It is with alarm and concern that I note the wanton destruction of agricultural lands by the developers of the various legs of the new highways crisscrossing this country.

As a lands officer, it pains my heart to see acres of good agricultural land being replaced by so many miles of roads. It is very well and good to have roads giving access to every nook and cranny of Jamaica within minimum time, but alas, this is at the expense of good farmlands.

No wonder our food import bills are so high, since most of our top-producing farming areas have gone into road construction and, previously, housing construction. Our farmers are now made redundant, as most of the areas on which they used to cultivate have been bought or forcibly acquired for this so-called 'great development'.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for development, but I believe more careful thought should have been put in place to decide where to place these roads, as I strongly believe the more marginal lands should have been used and not the prime agricultural lands.

God forbid if any calamity should take place in the countries that are our main import sources of foods. I can then foresee most Jamaicans dying of hunger as scarce food items would then only be available to the wealthy few.

CONCERNED CITIZEN

Spanish Town, St Catherine