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Story Highlights

  • The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit (PLPU) is ramping up its public education campaign as it continues to ensure that Jamaican farmers reap what they grow.
  • “Praedial larceny is one of those areas that have threatened the growth of the sector. On a weekly basis, we hear of incidents of animals and farm produce being stolen, therefore I welcome this initiative by the PLPU to highlight the plight of farmers,” he said.
  • The competition is open to students across Jamaica and attractive prizes will be awarded to the winner and second and third-place finishers in each category.

The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit (PLPU) is ramping up its public education campaign as it continues to ensure that Jamaican farmers reap what they grow.  As part of the campaign, the PLPU, on Tuesday (April 5), launched its inaugural essay competition targeting students at the primary and secondary levels.

The launch was held at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries’ Hope Gardens headquarters in St. Andrew.

In his address at the event, Minister without Portfolio, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, said that tackling praedial larceny is critical to the development of the agricultural sector in Jamaica.

“Praedial larceny is one of those areas that have threatened the growth of the sector.  On a weekly basis, we hear of incidents of animals and farm produce being stolen, therefore I welcome this initiative by the PLPU to highlight the plight of farmers,” he said.

Providing an overview of the competition, Praedial Larceny Prevention Co-ordinator of the PLPU, Trudy-Ann Edwards, explained that the main objectives of the competition are: to sensitise students, parents and teachers to the negative impact of farm theft on Jamaica’s economy; and to engage rural communities in the fight against the scourge.

The competition is open to students in two categories: ages nine to 12 years old, who will respond to the question:  ‘How does Praedial Larceny affect the farmers in your community?’ and ages 13 to 18, who will write on the topic: ‘What are the socio-economic impacts of Praedial Larceny on the Jamaican agricultural sector?’

Lasco Top Cop for 2016/17, Corporal Kimaryo Pinnock, who brought greetings on behalf of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), said the issue of praedial larceny has far-reaching implications both locally and internationally.

He noted that Commissioner of Police, Dr. Carl Williams, has launched critical strategies to address the scourge, including Operation Tidal Wave, which will see an increase in policing of town centres, markets, shopping malls, and other public areas.

The competition is open to students across Jamaica and attractive prizes will be awarded to the winner and second and third-place finishers in each category. Prizes include: tablet computers, brunch, book vouchers, trophies, farm tools, gift baskets and many more.

The essay must be an original work written in standard English, and applicants are asked to submit the material along with a completed application form and passport-size photograph.

The application forms can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website at www.moa.gov.jm. The PLPU will be working with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to distribute the application forms to students at the primary level.

Sponsors of the competition are: Agricultural Chemicals Plant; Agro-Grace Jamaica; the All Island Banana Growers Association; Digicel; GraceKennedy Limited; Jamaica Dairy Development Board; Jamaica Goat and Sheep Farmers Association; JP Tropical Foods Limited; Newport Fersan, Jamaica Limited; Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel.