Persons Who Light Fires Illegally to Face Prosecution – Kellier

Photo: Donald Delahaye Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier (2nd left), converses with (from left) Senator Imani Duncan Price; President, Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant; and coffee farmer, Elvis Holding, during a tour of Mr. Holding’s farm in Orchard, St. Andrew on January 13. The Minister toured several farms in East Rural St. Andrew, which were affected by bush fires in May 2015, to provide planting material. Partially hidden in the background are Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Lenworth Fulton (left); and State Minister in the Agriculture Ministry, Luther Buchanan.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the Government intends to enforce the law against the indiscriminate lighting of fires, which have resulted in significant losses in the agricultural sector.
  • The Minister was speaking to journalists yesterday (January 13), following the distribution of land preparation assistance and tour of several farms in East Rural St. Andrew, which were affected by fires in May 2015.
  • Minister Kellier informed that various sensitisation programmes are being undertaken islandwide through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to inform farmers about responsible land preparation practices.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the Government intends to enforce the law against the indiscriminate lighting of fires, which have resulted in significant losses in the agricultural sector.

He warned that persons who continue to light fires illicitly will be prosecuted.

“We are not only asking, begging, cajoling but we are warning people because this time around we are going to prosecute people, who we find doing these things…there is a law against it and we are going to use it,” he said.

The Minister was speaking to journalists yesterday (January 13), following the distribution of land preparation assistance and tour of several farms in East Rural St. Andrew, which were affected by fires in May 2015.

He implored farmers to desist from using slash-and-burn in the clearing of land, noting that the method has destroyed hundreds of acres of farmlands and damaged property as well as farm supplies.

“Do not be careless; do not light any illicit fires in clearing your land…It is in your interest and the interest of your families, the industry and the country overall to see that we protect this industry. We want no careless fires that will be lit to get out of control and damage other people’s crops and your own,” he said.

Minister Kellier informed that various sensitisation programmes are being undertaken islandwide through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to inform farmers about responsible land preparation practices.

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