Fri | Dec 2, 2016

Take over idle lands - Hugo Buchanan

Published:Saturday | February 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM

SOUTH WEST St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Hugh Buchanan is suggesting that the State creates a framework to put idle lands under production, especially if the properties have important infrastructure such as irrigation.

"There are some challenges we need to use legislation to fix," Buchanan said as he used a recent Gleaner Editor's Forum to moot the idea of a conditional land-use revolution.

Using his constituency as an example of where well-irrigated lands sit idle, Buchanan said putting these properties to use would help the country's food security and reduce the food-import bill.

"Hounslow has an irrigation scheme from the 1970s. The Little Park/Bacon system came in the middle of 2000s. A lot of the land is privately owned, but Government spent a lot of money to put the irrigation system in," Buchanan noted.

He further said that many persons have these and "they are not using it".

"It makes no sense they just sit on it. You have to have legislation to say that if you are not using the land at this time, we are going to access it; we are going to produce on it, and when you are ready for it, you write to us and we make the provision and we make preparation to hand it back over," he said.