Saint Lucia participates in land bank initiative

GIS:-The Pilot Project will help Preserve and Manage Agricultural Lands.

The Government of Saint Lucia is participating in a land bank pilot project that will help the country conserve and more efficiently employ agricultural lands.

Kwesi Goddard, Agricultural Engineer attached to the National Land Bank Project, said the data collected will boost the effective use of agricultural land.

“One of the major policy documents which speaks to the establishment of the National Land Bank is the National Land Policy of 2007. An agricultural land bank is a mechanism put in place to ensure the national interest in agricultural land remains firm, and is preserved from being used for other purposes. The land bank also aims to preserve the quality and quantity of land for future generations,” he explained.

To this end, the Government of Saint Lucia sought assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for assistance in establishing the land bank.

“After being articulated in 2007, various requests came from the Ministry of Agriculture to seek assistance in the establishment of a national land bank,” Mr Goddard said. “We identified the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, an organization with substantial administrative and technical capacity, to help us with the establishment of the land bank. To our surprise, Saint Vincent and Grenada also had similar interests. So the United Nations, through the FAO, realizing that these collective requests were coming in, decided to assist the region in piloting a land bank project in these three islands: Saint Lucia, Grenada and Saint Vincent.”

Mr Goddard said that the success of the project may spur the development of agricultural land banks in other parts of the Caribbean.