Cabinet has agreed to the divestment of lands in Chaguaramas currently owned by the Chaguaramas Development Authority to the State, for the purpose of granting leases to the Guave Road farmers, who have been involved in a legal dispute with the CDA since 2015.
A statement by the Ministry of Planing and Development says the Guave Road lands will be excised from the original parcel and placed under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.
According to Planning and Development Minister, Camille Robinson-Regis, the 1974 Chaguaramas Development Plan prohibited the CDA from granting agricultural leases to farmers for what has become known as the Guave Road Triangle.
She noted that the Guave Road farmers have been in constant occupation of approximately 122.6 acres of the land in excess of 30 years and in some instances in excess of 50 years, and had come to legitimately expect continued occupation and ownership.
Though the matter between the Guave Road Farmers Association and the CDA is still ongoing, Minister Robinson-Regis noted that both parties had previously agreed to enter into mediation proceedings, and the Court has been duly informed that settlement discussions were taking place.
As a result of Cabinet’s decision, the way was now clear for a proper survey to be conducted and a survey plan constructed for the approximately 122.6 acres known as the Guave Road Triangle.
She stated that upon completion of the survey, Cabinet will receive a joint submission from both the Ministry of Planning and Development and the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries for the subdivision, allocation and distribution of the land to the affected farmers.
Minister Robinson-Regis said that while this matter was indeed a vexing one, the settlement of which was long in coming, she was both mindful of the contribution of the Guave Road farmers to the country’s food basket, and grateful for their patience while the matter was being sorted out.
She noted that her Ministry and indeed, the Government, were willing to work with similar groups, throughout the country, whose interest was in providing food for the nation’s citizenry.
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