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.
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