Jamaica News: Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he will be reviewing the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit (PLPU), to make it more effective in reducing farm thefts.
Speaking to agricultural stakeholders at the 64th Hague Agricultural Show in Trelawny, on March 6, Mr. Shaw that if the PLPU needs beefing up, and if it needs more resources, action will be taken.
“I am going to ensure that we put more resources into the unit, because my heart goes out to all farmers when they raise their goats and cattle, plant their produce and then somebody comes in the dead of night to reap it before they can reap it and take care of their families,” the Minister said.
The Guardsman Group Canine Exhibition, which was staged at the 64th Hague Agricultural Show, in Trelawny, on Wednesday, March 6.
The PLPU is a collaboration between the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of National Security to curtail the theft of agricultural produce across Jamaica. It makes provision for the appointment of agricultural wardens to engage and assist farmers in an effort to prevent the theft of agricultural produce and livestock.
Trelawny is one of a number of farming parishes being affected by high cases of praedial larceny.
“It is a disgrace and we need to come together, and the Government must lead the way to curb praedial larceny,” said the Minister.
In the meantime, Mr. Shaw outlined that $800 million will be allocated in the upcoming fiscal year to rehabilitate farm roads across Jamaica through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
He noted that production incentives will also be made available to support small farmers as well as plans to distribute farmlands for alternative production.
“In Jamaica, we have too much idle lands and idle hands. So, we are going to be distributing lands for alternative production. We are not coming out of sugar, but we are going to rationalise. So, we produce sugar cane efficiently on smaller acres of land and make other acres of land available for the production of other things, such as castor beans for castor oil,” Mr. Shaw said.
The Hague Agricultural Show exhibited the best of Trelawny’s farming sector. The event also featured livestock competitions, a farmers’ competition, and the 2019 Farm Queen pageant.
Source: JIS News