Jamaica News: Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, has lauded winners of this year’s Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit (PLPU) Essay and Poster competition.
He was speaking at the competition’s awards ceremony, held today (August 28), at the Ministry, Hope Gardens, in Kingston.
“Your bold step to enter this competition shows that you are all motivated to make a change. You are all forward thinkers and you are leaders; therefore, no matter what the decision of the judges, you have all won and Jamaica is all the better for having such bright young minds as you,” the Minister told the students.
The competition was held as part of the PLPU’s public education campaign to sensitise Jamaicans about the devastating impact of praedial larceny on the agricultural sector and the livelihood of farmers.
The main objective of the competition was to engender greater awareness of the preventative measures that could be implemented by farmers on their farms in order to reduce praedial larceny. It was open to primary and secondary schools across the island.
Students at the primary level were required to design a poster depicting the theme ‘Praedial Larceny is Everybody’s Business. What measures should be taken to combat the theft of agricultural produce in Jamaica?’.
Meanwhile, students at the secondary level were required to write an essay on the same theme.
Eleven-year-old student of Belmont Park Primary in St. Catherine, Sehu Ra, emerged the winner in the poster category. For her effort, she was presented with a trophy, tablet, gift basket, gift bag, a scholarship valued at $10,000, a book voucher valued at 15,000, and a goat.
Alaine Preston, Angelique Forrest and Angel Anderson of Ocho Rios Primary School in St. Ann were awarded second, third and consolation places, respectively. They were presented with trophies, gift baskets, bags, book vouchers, farm tools, seedlings, chicks and fruit trees.
Meanwhile, Akeila Salmon, a 15-year-old student at Belair High School in Manchester, emerged winner in the essay category. For her winning essay, she received a tablet, a trophy, gift basket, gift bag, a scholarship valued at $20,000, a book voucher valued at $15,000, and a goat.
Camara Hamilton, Herbert Morrison High School in St. James, placed second; Shaneka Davidson of Seaforth High School, St. Thomas, third place; and a consolation prize was awarded to Daren Brown of Campion College, in Kingston. They were also presented with trophies, gift baskets, bags, book vouchers, farm tools, seedlings, chicks and fruit trees.
National Praedial Larceny Prevention Officer at the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Sergeant Damian Harry, said he was impressed with the quality of entries submitted in both categories.
He lamented, however, that “we have a culture that sees farmers and issues concerning farmers as unimportant”.
“One of the ways that we know would bridge this gap is through public education, and where best to start but with our students, our young minds,” he said.
Mr. Harry said he is appealing for more organisations to come on board. “We need your support; we need to make people aware; we need to make the competition bigger and better for next year,” he said.
Sponsors for this year’s competition were Crime Stop Jamaica, Hi-Pro Ace Supercentre, Jamaica Dairy Development Board, Jamaica Small Ruminants Association, JP Tropical Foods Limited, and Seprod Limited.
Source: JIS News