Grenada: government wants to regularize land ownership

Grenada’s government announced plans on Friday for a project aimed at increasing land ownership for squatters.

“The program will initially last approximately two years,” said Gemma Bain-Thomas, administrative director at the Ministry of Agriculture and Land, Forestry and Marine Resources.

She told a news conference that the program will result in the state legally owning less land, while at the same time giving hundreds of illegal occupiers of Crown or state land legal title to the land.

Bain-Thomas said the government’s approach is to first focus on the group of landowners who have already received a Cabinet decision stating the cost of the land, completed payment but have not yet received title deeds.

The second group will consist of those who have not made full or any payment and the final focus group will consist of those classified as squatters or illegal occupiers.

“Given the number of people identified when we go on site, we could discover other people and that could lead to the program entering a third year,” said Bain-Thomas, adding that the program aims to create of a path to legal ownership. for squatters.

She said the cost of the land will vary for each target group, with the first category paying the original cost as set out in the Cabinet document, while those without a Cabinet document or any other legal document from the state will pay what the government currently owes . 10 percent of the land is used for forest reserves, dry forests and watersheds.

“However, it is the policy of the government to encourage land title ownership in Grenada and that is what this program is about… a large part of that 10 percent is in the form of forest reserves and we have several including Grand Etang and the dry forest in other parts of the country,” he said, noting that the Land Regularization Project will create growth and economic empowerment.

“You have other large companies, such as state farms, that also make up a significant part of that ten percent. So you have a limited amount of that 10 percent that is available for other uses, and those other uses are probably where we can best help,” Alexander said.

He said the data shows that there are more than 87,000 plots of land owned by citizens.

“For a relatively small country, today we have over 87,000 parcels of land on our tax rolls, and we must give credit to those who came before us,” he said, listing previous administrations’ programs that encouraged legal land ownership.