GIS:-The National Land Bank Project is Deserving of National Efforts, Officials Say.
Kwesi Goddard, the Agricultural Engineer connected to the National Land Bank Project has stressed the importance of investing in agriculture.
The land bank project aims to preserve Saint Lucia’s agricultural lands for future use. Mr Goddard said ensuring food security and encouraging sustainable livelihoods can have positive repercussions for the future.
“This project, this initiative, could not have come at a more opportune time” he said. “It is deserving of our national focus and our national efforts because it is not only for us, it is also for our future generations.”
The pilot project, funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has a brief 18-month duration, which will thereafter continue with support from the local government.
“The first stage of the project stops from the establishment of the pilot sites. We want the pilot sites that we selected to be up and running, in the sense that we have a lease and payment system established, a farmer comes in with his own investment, and you have the Ministry of Agriculture supporting his production.”
Mr. Goddard noted that agricultural land acquisition is vital for national development.
“A people, a country, and a nation that can become self-sufficient by the development of agriculture can look to the future with confidence,” he explained. “Agriculture is one of the fundamental prerequisites for industrial and other development, and at the root of the expansion of agricultural development is land and the access to land.”
The Ministry of Agriculture endeavors to ensure that Saint Lucia’s agricultural lands are protected.