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The more than 100,000 receipt books being prepared for distribution to farmers under the Anti-Praedial Larceny Programme will be ready for distribution during the final week of April.
Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) President, Senator Norman Grant, speaking at the opening of the Montpelier Agricultural Show in St. James on Monday (April 17), said that the receipt books would cost farmers $500 each, and would be available at JAS offices island wide.
He said that the books would be distributed based on the farmer registration process, which was carried out by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
The Anti-Praedial Larceny Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the JAS and the Ministry of National Security and is designed to curb farm theft, which is eroding the profits of farmers.
According to Senator Grant, the implementation of the programme was indicative of the JAS and the Ministry of Agriculture’s commitment to the advancement of agriculture.
In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke, pledged the Ministry’s commitment to the sector, with priority to be placed on rural farming.”I see a bright new day for agriculture and I am committed to that task. I see a new sense developing in agriculture, I see a new thrust, I see our farmers embracing new technology, I see our young people enthused and want to move into agriculture, and I am here to be the facilitator,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Labour and Social Security Minister and Member of Parliament for South St. James, Derrick Kellier, announced that one billion dollars in loans would be made available to farmers later this year, through the National Insurance Fund (NIF).
He said that the money would be channeled through the People’s Cooperative Banks.