Sat | Aug 13, 2022

Landowners urged to lease properties for agriculture

Published:Tuesday | August 31, 2021 | 10:44 AM
The work of the Agro-Investment Corporation is centred on supporting an environment for the sustainable development of agriculture in Jamaica - File photo.

The Agro-Investment Corporation (AgroInvest) is urging Jamaicans who own 30 acres of land or more to consider leasing their properties for agricultural production.

This would be facilitated through the Agriculture Landowner Match Programme, which began in May 2020/

Marketing and Communications Manager at Agro-Invest, Alecia Brown-Forbes, speaking in a recent interview with JIS News, said the programme has piqued the interest of Jamaicans.

“We realise that in Jamaica there are many acres of unused land owned by private citizens that can be used for agricultural purposes. We, therefore, want persons who own large amounts – 30 acres or more – to apply to us. We will research, promote and try to find suitable investors for those lands,” Forbes said.

The work of the Agro-Investment Corporation is centred on supporting an environment for the sustainable development of agriculture in Jamaica.

Forbes said under the Agriculture Landowner Match Programme, the corporation makes the leasing process easier for landowners.

“What we will do, essentially, is take the hassle away from landowners. Based on my experience, it can be tedious to lease property and many times persons don't know the processes and procedures. This is where we come in. Our purpose is to get as much unused land in production as we possibly can, as well as to really stimulate investment in agriculture,” she said.

Forbes also mentioned that persons in the Diaspora can benefit from the offerings of the programme.

“At the moment, we are appealing to persons, especially Jamaicans in the Diaspora, who have left the country and have land here. What we have done, so far, is to ask JAMPRO's offices in Canada to promote the Agriculture Landowner Match Programme for us through their platforms,” she added.

Having a large acreage of land meets the first requirement, but the land must also be suitable for growing crops.

“We would ideally want the land to be arable, and this is because we want the land to facilitate crop production as well as cattle rearing; but even then, it must be land that is usable. What we realise is because Jamaica is mountainous, there are persons who have land but because of the terrain, it isn't suitable for agricultural purposes. This is, therefore, something applicants can expect to be asked about when they've applied,” Forbes explained.

Meanwhile, AgroInvest is targeting persons with land all across the country with no preference or specification for any set parishes.

“We are targeting all across Jamaica. There are some parishes where the land and the soil are better suited for crop production than others, but we are targeting all unused land across the country. Once it is flat enough and able to be used for agricultural purposes, we are looking everywhere basically,” Forbes said.

For more information

Persons can visit the Agro-Investment Corporation website at agroinvest.gov.jm or call 876-923-0086 or 876 764-8365.

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