Jamaica | Feb 18, 2023

Agriculture Ministry ramps up efforts to tackle praedial larceny

/ Our Today

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Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (centre), in discussion with Director of Agriculture and Fisheries at Food For the Poor, Nakhle Hado (right), while Chief Strategic Officer, Environmental Solutions Limited, Stephen Jones, looks on. They were in the process of observing a drone (foreground) being used to irrigate an onion farm in St. Thomas, during a tour on Thursday (February 16). (Photo: JIS)

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has implemented several measures to heighten praedial larceny prevention and safeguard the sector.

Portfolio Minister Pearnel Charles Jr, speaking with journalists during a tour of onion farms in St Thomas on Thursday (February 16), announced that submissions are being made to Cabinet to assist in wiping out the illicit practice.

“We are and have been, for the last year, focused on developing the framework. We have a submission that’s going to Cabinet that will allow us to advance our agricultural wardens. We have a submission that’s going to help us to bring the investment that is needed to increase the technology around praedial larceny prevention,” he said.

Charles further said praedial larceny has been having a deleterious impact on agriculture, noting that it remains a discouraging factor for many persons desirous of becoming farmers.

Consequently, he said the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), last year, facilitated praedial larceny prevention training for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which covered all aspects of this illicit act.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (left), and State Minister, Hon. Franklin Witter (second left), receive onions from farmer, Kenroy Kellyman, during a tour of St. Thomas onion farms on Thursday (February 16). With them is Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA,) Winston Simpson. (Photo: JIS)
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (right), reaps onions at a farm in Yallahs, St. Thomas, during a tour on Thursday (February 16). Observing are State Minister in the Agriculture Ministry, Hon. Franklyn Witter (left); Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) St. Thomas Parish Manager, Bevene Martin-Dickenson (second left) and RADA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Winston Simpson. (Photo: JIS)

The minister added that efforts will be made to boost farmers’ associations and organisations, “so that they can become more aware of what they can do to protect each other.”

“So, there’s a lot that we are doing and a lot more that we intend to do. But I can assure you [that] we have sent a message. You’ll notice that last year, we caught a couple of persons that we never caught before and I sent a strong message to Jamaica,” he further stated.

Charles outlined that the matter is “not an agriculture issue only”, but also a national security issue, which is being responded to from a multi-ministerial and multi-agency perspective.

Jamaica Information Service


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