JIS News

Some 350 persons occupying land in the parish of St. Catherine received their titles on July 18 at a handing-over ceremony at the Sligoville Multi-purpose Complex in Sligoville.
Beneficiaries of this tranche of the programme are drawn from a number of communities in St.Catherine including Mount Dawson, Rosemount, Sligoville, Treadways, Bybrook, Guys Hill, Byndloss, James Mountain, and Point Hill.
The titles were facilitated under the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. LAMP was conceived with the expressed objective of addressing the issue of persons occupying land without proper titling, by speeding up the process.
Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke who spoke at the ceremony said the aim of the project was to survey some 30,000 parcels of land using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology as a means of reducing the costs normally associated with the conventional surveying methods.
Mr. Clarke said many factors have contributed to constraining the pace at which titles are provided. “We live in a society where many land holdings are informally subdivided. The costs associated with obtaining a title, including legal fees, surveying, registration and stamp duty can be extremely prohibitive,” he said.
The Lands Minister stressed that the programme of regularising titles for persons had begun years ago and is on track for completion, as of the 30,000 parcels targeted for mapping some 29,837 have already been completed.
“LAMP has also assisted persons in securing new titles from part of land transfers, vestings and lost title applications. Four hundred and eighty-one parcels have had existing titles updated and persons with probate issues have received assistance,” he informed.
Minister Clarke also pointed out that LAMP was undertaking work on behalf of the National Irrigation Commission and would soon be securing some 75 certificates of title for farmers in the Colbeck area of St. Catherine to allow them to receive benefits under the scheme.
Work under the programme has already begun in Yallahs, St. Thomas where 21 first registration of titles have already been opened for Beacon/Little Park in St. Elizabeth so that farmers in this area can also benefit from the irrigation scheme.
The LAMP is also to be extended to Clarendon. Currently a socio-economic study is being carried out by the Data Bank Evaluation Division of the Ministry to this end. When this is completed a public education awareness campaign will be launched to make all land owners aware of how they will benefit from a waiver in the stamp duty, transfer taxes, and surveying costs.

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