Government earmarks land for fresh start to those ‘at risk’

Basseterre, St. Kitts – A new government programme will make available a cumulative total of 50 acres of land for farming by people who may have run afoul of the law or who are at higher risks from criminal elements, a June 14 press release stated.

This is another measure by the government to offer alternative opportunities for [people], particularly young men, to be productively engaged and to support themselves and their famil[ies] through legitimate means, while positively contributing to the national development agenda,” said prime minister and minister of national security, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris.

Harris said this was a good way for people to “make a fresh start.”

Those who are planting products that are illegal and who are encouraged to make a transformation, we are saying that we will provide you with the land to make that fresh start in life and to comply with [the country’s] laws,” he said, noting that the cabinet has given full support to this initiative. “Not only will we provide them with the land, we are prepared to provide them with the plants, the fruits, the vegetables that they may require in order to fit their plans.”

Government is also expected to fence the land to keep animals and unauthorized people away from the crops. A specific strategy will be developed to address any issues that are likely to result from wild monkeys.

Harris told the National Assembly June 13 that government will continue to think “outside of the box” to creatively reduce elements of criminality and negate the severe impact of drugs and guns on the local population.

The Honourable Eugene Hamilton, the minister of agriculture, encouraged interested people to make contact with the director of agriculture, Melvin James, at the agriculture department at LaGuerite to learn more about the programme.