PORT Maria, St Ann — Residents in settlements across St Ann, St Mary and Portland are set to benefit from the Jamaican Government's partnership with Korean.
This, with Friday's launch in Port Maria, St Mary, of a special project which will see approximately 1,000 residents in three parishes receiving land titles.
The "Cadastral Mapping and Land Registration in Jamaica" is being undertaken by the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
During the main address at the launch, Robert Pickersgill, minister of water, land, environment, and climate change, said the Korea Cadastral Survey Corporation "has injected US$2 million into the LAMP programme with the option to invest a further US$26 million within the next 10 years".
"KOICA and the Government of Jamaica will cooperate in carrying out several activities including [provision of] registered titles for 1,000 needy households in land settlements," Pickersgill stated.
He added that the Government of Jamaica is "happy to partner with the Korean Government" in a commitment to strengthen the land-titling system in Jamaica.
"Fifty years after Independence, too many of our people still cannot show evidence that they own their land," he said.
Of 800,000 land parcels in the island, only approximately 450,000 parcels have registered titles, he noted.
He went on to highlight that the project is also expected to benefit at least 6,000 small-scale farmers who own tracts of land without the appropriate legal protection.
"This project is expected to have significant economic effects, one of which is improved earnings of the farming population, as persons who previously could not, will now be able to access micro credit to increase farmland productivity," Pickersgill added.
The efficiency of the current operations will be enhanced through the transfer of technology which will result in increased and speedy delivery of computerised records of the Titles Office, and a cadastral map representing the existing approved surveys suitable for registration, he added.
On Friday, Kimo Lim, charge d'affaires of the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Jamaica and his team presented a motor vehicle as well as equipment to be used on the project.
According to the minister, training will also be provided both in Jamaica and in Korea for locals.
Nine residents received their titles on Friday, many of whom would not be able to legally own lands as they cannot afford the legal fees.