JIS News

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Marc Panton, has declared that an aggressive campaign is to be conducted against praedial thieves, with the Ministry leading the charge.
“The value of praedial larceny last year was $5 billion or 6 per cent of the entire agricultural industry,” he said, assuring that the Ministry was working assiduously to have its plans materialised in the effort to put a stop to the problem of praedial larceny.
Dr. Panton was speaking at the opening of the National People’s Co-operative Bank retreat, which was held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on November 26.
The two-day forum is being held under the theme: ‘2010 Year of Profitability in Challenging Times’.
Dr. Panton explained that a praedial larceny Co-ordinator is to be appointed, who would be responsible for co-ordinating with all the various agencies to tackle the problem.
“In addition to looking at the legislation and so on, they will be required to conduct some high profile operations. We want some visible arrests,” he said.
He pointed out that the Ministry, in carrying out its plans, has approached the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), to join their Crime Stop programme.
“We are going to be a part of their crime stop by virtue of the call-ins and we are also going to be a part of their new television series that will be coming on shortly,” he informed.
Turning to the Farmer Receipt Book system, he said that the Ministry was in the process of reviewing the process.
“We know that initially the receipt book system really did not work and it certainly was not accepted by the majority of the farmers, so we are looking at that. We have to find a cost effective way to individualise these receipt books and that is something we are looking at now. Each receipt must be able to be traced and cannot be copied or tampered with,” Dr. Panton said, noting that such an action required a massive drive by the Ministry to get farmers registered.

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