A farmer removes cocoa beans from their pods on the Belmont Estate in Grenada (Photo: Belmont Estate)

Grenada’s agriculture ministry launch Pilot Agricultural Land Bank Project

A farmer removes cocoa beans from their pods on the Belmont Estate in Grenada (Photo: Belmont Estate)

Grenada’s Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry has invited applications from the country’s citizenry and permanent residents for the lease of agricultural lands as part of the Pilot Agricultural Land Bank Project.

“Grenadians interested in farming or agriculture-based ventures are being given an opportunity to lease agricultural land from the Government of Grenada,” a release from the ministry outlined.

So far, the Government of Grenada has approved two plot sites on State-owned lands — Grand Bacolet Estate in St Andrew and Diamond Estate, St Mark. Applicants stand to gain four-acre plots for farming at Grand Bacolet.

(Photo: NOW Grenada)

To qualify for selection, applicants should attain the age of 18 and should preferably live in or near the area where the project is taking place; however, this will not exclude an applicant from receiving a plot.

Making agriculture more accessible

Launched in 2017, the project has so far received “significant financial and technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation”, with the Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC) and Climate-Smart Agriculture and Rural Enterprise Programme (SAEP) also serving as partners with the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry, the aim of the project is to build a pilot land back in Grenada to facilitate the lease of State-owned agricultural land.

A section of the Mirabeau propagation station in Grenada (Photo: WEE FM)

“The objective is to reduce idle or underutilised arable land; improve access to fertile land for landless farmers, women and youth interested in agricultural enterprise/agribusiness; build and enhance the technical capacity of pertinent government departments entrusted with land administration; and improve agricultural production,” the statement from the ministry outlined further.

Along with applying for the leased plots, farmers between the ages of 18 and 35 should apply to the GIDC/SAEP for Enterprise Business Development Training.

Although applicants over 35 will not benefit from the full training programme, they will receive special training with the GIDC in business plan writing.