JIS News

Story Highlights

  • JAS to lobby for agricultural wardens to be appointed to assist the police
  • Praedial larceny costs the agricultural sector $5 billion to $6 billion annually
  • JAS has decided that there needs to be a rejuvenated praedial larceny prevention programme

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) will be lobbying for agricultural wardens to be appointed to assist the police in fighting the scourge of praedial larceny.

JAS President, Senator Norman Grant, informed that this was one of the recommendations of the entity’s board of management to tackle this pervasive issue, which costs the agricultural sector $5 billion to $6 billion annually.

“We think that there needs to be a special squad that needs to be identified, whose role and responsibility, in addition to the general policing responsibility, is to execute in a very decisive way, the whole issue of preventing this crime, because it is stopping the sector from growing,” Senator Grant said.

He was speaking at a ceremony on Wednesday, September 4, to officially present the winners of the competitions for the 2013 Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show, at the JAS head office in Kingston.

Senator Grant informed that the board of the JAS has decided that there needs to be a rejuvenated praedial larceny prevention programme.

“To that extent, we are going to be reviewing the distribution of the receipt books….What we need to do, is to look at how we can enforce the law and the JAS will be seeing how we can review a strategy to get our receipt books out there,” he said.

Mr. Grant further noted that the JAS is hoping to stage a praedial larceny prevention summit to “discuss this issue and to see how we can really identify the enemy and really get him out, so we can produce more of the food that we need to consume in Jamaica”.

The concept of the “farmerhood watch” is yet another initiative that the JAS is looking at in its bid to tackle the issue of praedial larceny and to deal with who Mr. Grant claims are “farm terrorists”.

“We are advancing the theory that every JAS branch should become a “farmerhood watch”. We launched one in Springhill, Portland about three months ago, there is one in Rock River Clarendon, and we think that we certainly need to do different things to outsmart the praedial thieves,” Senator Grant said.

In the meantime, the winners of the competitions for the Denbigh Agricultural Food Show include: National Woman Champion Farmer, and past member of the JAS board, Maria Azan; JAS Sir Arthur Farquharson Young Champion Farmer, Nicholas Powell; JAS Sir Arthur Farquharson Champion Farmer, and National Greenhouse Champion Farmer,  Lester Murray; and National Farm Queen, Nordia Lewin.

In addition, the Rudolph Burke Trophy and the Percival Broderick Snr Trophy went to Clarendon. The Senator Norman Grant Commercial Exhibitor Trophy was awarded to Jonathon Swire of Delta Supply Co. Ltd, while the Champion Cattle Farmer is Dr. Karl Wellington of YS Farms.

The 2013 Denbigh Industrial, Agricultural and Food Show was held from August 4 to August 7 under the theme: ‘Eat What You Grow…Grow What You Eat’.