East End prison land may be leased to local farmers

| 09/05/2014

(CNS): Almost 300 acres of land that was once home to the prison farm in the eastern end of the island could be leased to local producers for private farming. Government is considering a new initiative to break the land into lots to lease to farmers and gardeners and the Ministry of Agriculture is now making appointments to a new committee that will produce a draft policy relating to the land lease. The policy will address areas such as application requirements and eligibility to lease land, length of lease, lot size, water use plans and other related issues. Initial work underway includes surveying the site and reviewing the land capability of the areas that could be earmarked for lease. 

As the government is still in the process of determining the potential framework and criteria for the project, no reservations or allocations of land have been made but officials said there has been many expressions of interest afterthe subject was raised on a local radio show.

The proposal calls for as much of the 282 acres of the property to be made available as possible and once Cabinet has considered and approved the draft policy, the public will be informed of the details, including the application process.

The property currently houses the new Doppler radar, and although CUC wanted to use the land at one point as it was identified as a perfect location for a potential wind-farm, the radar prevented that from happening. The rest of the land however was once part of Wilderness Farm, which was managed by the local prison service and where prisoners on day release worked the land.

However, the shocking and brutal murder of 21-year-old Sabrina Schirn at the hands of one of the inmates in 2009 while he was working there led to its closure. Randy Martin (now 42), who was at the time serving a ten year sentence for aggravated burglary and firearms offences, was convicted in 2010 of killing Schirn with a machete that he was using on the farm when she was believed to have visited him there to deliver drugs.

Category: Local News

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why not sell the land off and pay down some of the debt?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sell, sell, sell that is why Caymanians and Cayman is in the mess that they are in today.  Land is wealth, because it's finite, once you sell it you no longer have control.  Pay down some of the debt? Native Caymanians are out numbered anyway so what the point, if you don't pay your debt something will be repossess so don't pay  the debt and let the creditors repossess it, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman is enough for natives.

  2. Peanuts says:

    The Prison should maintain at least fifty acres. The fifty acres can be used to teach inmates farming skills, animail husbandry. The benifits to be gained are huge. (1) Joy of learning (2) Life skills (3) Self worth (4) Providing food for the Prison, are what come to mind quickly. Inmates could be used to construct the buildings. Prison time spent doing nothing is in no way a benifit to the Country or the inmate. Think human development not just punishment.

    • Anonymous says:

      (5) better chance to escape , (6) easier access to drink, drugs, telephones and even, from past stories, sex.

      The prison needs to just lock them up in sweaty tiny solitary confinement cells.  You can't gradaute from the University of Prison into a Life of Crime if you don't meet any prisoners while you are in there.

      • Anonymous says:

        So lock them up in solitary then when they're released they have a criminal record, no skills, no certifications……Hmmm…can't see them turning back to their criminal ways, with that kind of employability

  3. Jordanian says:

    This idea i but 2 years ago to minister Juliana  when she was minister 

    and gov was working in this idea …it is not new our ppm  idea it is my idea 

    truth should be told …..

    Amjed

    caymanian embassdor 

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    post 6:35 the government have a lot of land that was just aquired by default back in the 70s. Might just be that situation. Dunno for sure but I can remember as a kid there were no owners that had title to there land and once everyone made claims on what they beleived were theirs the rest just went to the crown. There were many people here that ended up with hundreds of acres of land simply becuase no one claimed it…just saying

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would be curious to know how much this land cost when the Government purchased it and from  who.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't know how much the government paid for the land but they purchased it from Tvind – the Danish cult who owned it and farmed it for a number of years.  Google Tvind if you wish to know about them and be glad that they left Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you take skewed view of Tvind which was persecuted, largely unsuccessfully, by a conservative Danish state machine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who cares who sold the land! This been going on forever,the sale of property. Just get the damn land cut up so the locals can farm it and survive in their own country. This is all we have left, they have sold us down the river.

    • Anonymous says:

      From "whom" not "who". You might not pass the test to live in Cayman, bobo, if you make a simple mistake like that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello, are you a Caymanian?  Every cat and dog knows that farm was initially set and run by Humana  Dapp.  Purchased by government and all the fruits go to birds and predators.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most CIG land purchases are from politically connected family members, often through a company, at a price significantly above market.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is a good idea. Well done PPM. Much better than the land sitting idle. Gives many persons an opportunity for income.