Praedial larceny is one of the major challenges faced by farmers across the island, however, the matter remains largely underreported.
Pearnel Charles Jr, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, who was delivering his presentation in the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate today (May 2), said that a total of 52 praedial larceny-related offences were reported for the 2022/23 period, which he described as a ‘gross underreporting for the period.”
“Let me reiterate that this is not only a national security issue but also a public health issue and everybody’s business,” the Minister said.
For that same period, 3,849 special raids were conducted, 30 farm watch groups were established, and one hundred and forty-two (142) arrests were made relating to breaches of the legislation.
Charles Jr is now urging farmers to report incidents of theft of agricultural produce and livestock to the local authorities.
In an effort to ramp up the Ministry’s response to the ongoing issue plaguing the nation’s farmers, he said that his Ministry will continue to work with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to facilitate
monitoring of all slaughterhouses and abattoirs island-wide.
Charles Jr said that “the Ministry is currently in the process of seeking Cabinet’s approval for the implementation of the Agriculture Warden Programme. This will significantly change the landscape of how we treat with the scourge of praedial larceny and crime in agriculture.”
“Praedial larceny prevention must be a crusade, as it is everyone’s business,” the Minister added.
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