Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings Limited (SCJH) will, this year, collaborate with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) to divest an additional eight parcels of land under the Greater Bernard Lodge Development Master Plan (GBLDMP).
The Cabinet-approved divestment plan/master plan seeks to ensure systematic, sustainable and orderly development of the lands in the Bernard Lodge area of St. Catherine.
According to the 2021/22 Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, SCJH will also continue to manage the relocation of farmers/investors and provide assistance to those who have been displaced.
Meanwhile, SCJH will continue work under phase one of the community regularisation and housing development programme for displaced sugar workers, targeting 466 acres of land across four parishes.
The programme entails the provision of land to facilitate the construction of modern housing units and access to water and electricity, and rehabilitating roads in communities that were dependent on sugar estates.
According to Public Bodies Estimates, 30 communities have been identified for regularisation, of which five are shortlisted under phase one.
These are Lionel Town in Clarendon – 20 acres; Clifton, St. Catherine – 35 acres; Hertford and Morass Lane, Westmore land – 261 acres; and the Trelawny communities of Carey Park and Hampden Lands – 75 acres each.
The regularisation process has already commenced in Clifton, and Hertford and Morass Lane, where 400 and 450 certificates of possession, respectively, are slated for delivery to beneficiaries.
SCJH will also seek to manage and facilitate access to lands to support productive activities, including agro-processing; new industries, such as cannabis, bamboo and castor beans; and youth and women in agriculture.
The company projects a net profit of $355.6 million from the engagements, some $228.74 million more than the out-turn for 2019/20.
The SCJH, which falls under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, was mandated in 2009 to complete the divestment of the six State-run sugar estates, which was concluded under an August 2011 agreement.
Having completed this exercise, SCJH is now responsible for post-divestment engagements, which entail fulfilling the Government’s contractual obligations, as outlined in various sales and purchase agreements.
The company’s other major responsibilities include managing lands located in several sugar-dependent communities, relocation of displaced sugar workers, data archiving, social welfare services, and monitoring new investors in the implementation of business plans.