$176.98 Million Allocated to Projects Under Ministry of Agriculture’s Rural Development and Land Reform Programme

Several projects, which fall under the armpit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands’ Rural Development (Survey, Land Administration, Settlement and Land Reform) programme, will benefit from an allocation of $176.98 million during this fiscal year.
This provision is contained in the 2007/08 Estimates of Expenditure, which was tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday (March 29) by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies. Of the total, $164.48 million will go towards the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), which ceased its relationship with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), when the loan agreement, which was jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the IDB, ended on February 6, 2007.
Cabinet therefore took the decision to establish LAMP as a unit of the Ministry, so that the land registration work being conducted in St. Catherine could be continued and completed, and for LAMP to undertake land tenure work on behalf of the National Irrigation Commission.
Meanwhile, $7.5 million will go to the Jamaica Land Titling Project to assist with the development of the Land Information and Cadastral Mapping System, which supports land registration and divestment, land valuation and general information access for informed decision-making.
A major focus of the project will be: continued preparation and maintenance of a digital cadastral index of the island; scanning of certificates of titles, deposited plans, strata plans and title document; repair of bound title volumes; and improvement in office facilities.
A further $2.5 million has been earmarked to the National Estate Management Project for the establishment of a system that will improve the management of crown lands. One of the primary benefits of this project will be the improvement in the productive use of government-owned properties in support of national, social, economic and other developmental policies, to assist in the accelerated and transparent divestment of properties.
In addition, the Acquisition of Land Project will receive $1 million. This project is concerned with Government land settlement schemes, and undertakes payments for properties leased by the Commissioner of Lands from private landowners, along with fees for surveying the properties. The provision also includes drainage fees payable to the National Irrigation Commission.
A provision of $1.5 million has also been set aside to fund a project to upgrade the facilities at the National Land Agency offices islandwide, to allow for the introduction of land titling and other services to be provided in Montego Bay and Mandeville.

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