Land Development and Utilization Act. | Land Portal

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This Act makes provision for the use and development of land. The Land Development and Utilization Commission, established under section 12, may with the approval of the Minister, from time to time, by order designate as agricultural land any land, which the Commission considers ought to be brought into use for agriculture. For the purposes of this Act, it shall be the responsibility of an occupier of an agricultural unit to farm the agricultural land in the unit to such extent as may be practicable, having regard to the character and situation of the unit and other relevant circumstances (sect. 4). Where it appears that the occupier of an agricultural unit is not fulfilling his responsibility under this Act the Commission may, by order published in the Gazette, declare such unit or any of the agricultural land therein to be idle land for the purposes of this Act and may order occupiers to prepare and to submit to the Commission a Development Plan. In case of non-compliance with notices or orders, the owners or occupiers may be dispossessed of their land under section 8, either by compulsory acquisition or by leasehold. It shall be the duty of the Commission to ensure that occupiers of agricultural units fulfil their responsibility under this Act to farm the agricultural land in such units and to ensure that such agricultural land is, as far as possible, properly developed and utilised. (29 sections completed by a Schedule)

Implemented by: Land Development and Utilization Regulations. (1976)

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The island - discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 - was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, were gradually exterminated and replaced by African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually increased its independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies.

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