Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is seeking to increase penalties for praedial larceny and also provide a strong deterrent against the scourge.
  • This was disclosed by portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, during Tuesday’s (November 4) sitting of the House of Representatives.
  • Plans are in place to make praedial larceny a felony under the Agricultural Produce Act (APA) and the Praedial Larceny Prevention Act.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is seeking to increase penalties for praedial larceny and also provide a strong deterrent against the scourge.

This was disclosed by portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, during Tuesday’s (November 4) sitting of the House of Representatives.

He was responding to questions posed by Opposition Spokesperson on Agriculture, J.C. Hutchinson, on what measures are being implemented to curb praedial larceny.

Mr. Kellier noted that plans are in place to make praedial larceny a felony under the Agricultural Produce Act (APA) and the Praedial Larceny Prevention Act.

“The penalties, which are issued for praedial larceny, are drawn from several pieces of legislation, as the Agriculture Produce Act and Praedial Larceny Prevention Act do not outline penalties for theft,” he pointed out.

He noted that Resident Magistrates are therefore forced to pull on several pieces of legislation, including the Unlawful Possession of Property Act, to apply punitive measures against perpetrators.

Mr. Kellier said there is also a need to redefine praedial larceny to include livestock, fisheries, lumber and other classes of agricultural produce.

“It is acknowledged that any successful onslaught against praedial larceny must be underpinned by a traceability system along the entire value chain. Central to this should be a legislative framework that registers all the players and handlers of agricultural produce, and goods along the entire chain,” he argued.

He noted that while the APA makes provisions for registration and licencing of all handlers of agricultural produce, the provisions contained are extremely cumbersome. It is therefore proposed to amend the APA to simplify the procedures for registration.

Mr. Kellier informed that a Cabinet submission is being prepared to seek approval for drafting instructions for the legislative measures. The submission should be considered by Cabinet next month.

Skip to content