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Homestead Development Agreement Signed between MALF and the Rural Development Company Limited (RDC)

31 July, 2021

Homestead Development Agreement Signed between MALF and the Rural Development Company Limited (RDC)

HOM 1

Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (2nd from right), holds a Framework Agreement with Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government (2nd from left), to mark the start of Government’s revival of its Homestead Policy with the development of State land in El Reposo. The Agreement was signed on Friday 30th July, 2021, between the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) and the Rural Development Company Limited (RDC) at MALF’s Head Office in Chaguanas. Also present at the signing of the Agreement were the Honourable Foster Cummings, Minister of Youth Development and National Service (extreme right) and the Chairman of the RDC, Ms. Patricia Alexis (extreme left).

July 31, 2021: In an effort to encourage young persons into the agriculture sector while also providing an opportunity for young families desirous of constructing a house on land where they can be involved in agriculture, the Government has revived its Homestead Policy and will soon commence the development of State Land located at El Reposo in Sangre Grande for such use.

This was the revelation of Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries on Friday 30th July, 2021, following the signing of a Framework Agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) and the Rural Development Company Limited (RDC) at MALF’s Head Office in Chaguanas. Also present at the signing of the Agreement were the Minister of Youth Development and National Service, the Honourable Foster Cummings, the Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein and the Chairman of the Rural Development Company Limited (RDC), Ms. Patricia Alexis.

According to Minister Rambharat, the establishment of these homesteads will involve the partnership of the three (3) respective Ministries, each with key functions. To this end, he identified MALFs, role in relation to its responsibility for both agriculture and State lands; the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government (RDLG) which has overarching responsibility for the RDC through which the project will be executed and; the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service, the stakeholders of which, have been identified as the beneficiaries of the homestead initiative.

Minister Rambharat noted that it has been “quite a while since any Government has allowed the creation of new homestead areas in the country”. The Government’s revival of the Homestead Policy will witness the meaningful development of prime agricultural lands in the country, the first of which will be in El Reposo with another site identified in Talparo, he said.

The initiative, Minister Rambharat remarked, was based on Cabinet’s decision to revamp the Homestead Policy. Both the Agriculture Ministry and the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government along with the RDC, collaborated to establish a framework agreement to develop homestead sites in El Reposo on the East Coast and another at a larger site in the area of Talparo, he said.

The Minster added: “These sites are historically agricultural but on this occasion, we are only signing the one that is ready to start, and that is in El Reposo. We expect that in the not-too-distant future, an agreement will be signed for Talparo.”

In his remarks at the ceremony, Minister Hosein said he was heartened by the confidence placed in the RDC in the execution of the development project and elaborated that the project may commence from as early as next week. Additionally, Minister Cummings indicated that the revival of the Homestead Policy provided not only an avenue for the enhancement of the nation’s food production but an opportunity to get young people involved in agriculture. It will also provide them with a home and a location from which they can perfect their interests in the agricultural sector, he said.

Signing the Framework Agreement on behalf of MALF was the Permanent Secretary (Ag.), Ms. Susan Shurland while the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Jason Kissoon represented the RDC. The witnesses were: Senior Legal Officer (MALF), Ms. Laurelle Ralph, and Legal Counsel/ Corporate Secretary (RDC), Mr. Arshad Mohammed.