Poultry farmer cries ‘foul’ after DCA serves him with eviction notice from land assigned by Ministry of Agriculture

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Jeffrey Jones, a seasoned farmer of 17 years and member of the Antigua and Barbuda Layer Farmers Association, finds himself in a dire situation after receiving an Enforcement Notice from the Development Control Authority (DCA) to vacate his farm within 28 days.

Describing it as a disaster, Jones is urgently seeking a meeting with Ministry of Agriculture officials to address the issue.

On Tuesday, February 6, Jones discovered the compliance notice affixed to a vehicle on his Burkes Estate, All Saints, farm.

He recounts receiving the 2.5 acres of land from the Ministry of Agriculture 17 years ago, following his relocation from Freemans Village due to the construction of a nearby church.

Initially, the land was overrun with acacia trees, which Jones spent approximately $12,000 to clear.

Additionally, he invested further funds in bringing an excavator to the location for additional work. He also dug a pond at considerable expense to ensure a consistent water supply for his crops.

Despite his investments and annual lease renewals through the Ministry of Agriculture, the DCA’s notice insists he vacate the property, citing it as private land.

Seeking clarity on his options, Jones is perplexed by the sudden turn of events.

With over 500 fruit trees and a poultry farm on the land, Jones feels the government’s actions contradict its purported support for farming.

Unlike his previous relocation facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture, no alternative provisions are being offered this time.

Distraught at the prospect of losing his livelihood and family’s means of support, Jones expresses his frustration at the situation.

He highlights recent hardships, including the loss of nearly 2,000 chickens due to flooding on a rented farm in the Lightfoot area.

In essence, Jeffrey Jones, a dedicated farmer, faces imminent displacement, grappling with the upheaval of his life’s work and the uncertainty of his family’s future.- SOURCE: Real News Antigua

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