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Story Highlights

  • Large scale purchasers of agricultural produce warned to be vigilant against praedial larceny
  • Governor General says praedial larceny "must be punished to the fullest extent of the law."
  • Businesses that collude with the praedial larcenist must give account for such actions

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, is encouraging all large scale purchasers of agricultural produce in Jamaica to support the nation’s farmers by refusing to buy products for which vendors have no proof of ownership.

“Supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other institutions must be vigilant in ensuring that they are not used by the individuals who heartlessly rob the farmers of their livelihood,” he said.

The Governor-General was speaking during the official ceremony for day two of the 61st Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show at the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon on August 5.

He said that it was painful for farmers to bring their crops to harvest or bring their livestock to a stage where they are ready for the market and in one night all is lost due to praedial thieves, adding that these individuals would be out of business if they did not have collaborators.

“Once vendors or management of businesses and institutions are found to be colluding with the praedial larcenist, which is wreaking havoc on the agricultural sector, they also must give account for such actions. When some of these individuals who are colluding are jailed together with the original thieves of livestock and produce, the message of zero tolerance for praedial larceny will be understood,” he emphasised.

The Governor-General said he was passionate about joining with leaders of the agricultural sector – the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and others in their fight against praedial larceny – a crime which he stressed “must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

“We simply cannot continue to frustrate the effort of the farmers. We cannot grow our country when some only want to steal the harvest of what others have planted. In other words ‘to reap where they do not sow’. It is everybody’s business as we seek to fight for truth and integrity in every aspect of our society,” he emphasised.

The Governor-General further encouraged all Jamaicans “to keep up the vigilant support to our farmers not merely for the benefit of our economy but also as we strive to adapt healthier life styles as we eat what we grow.”