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Minister of Agriculture and Land, Roger Clarke, has announced that receipt books to verify the legitimacy of produce trading, to combat praedial larceny, have been printed and should be ready for distribution soon.
The Minister made the disclosure in his address to citrus farmers at the Annual General Meeting of the Citrus Growers Association, which was held on April 6 at the St. Thomas Ye Vale Anglican Church Hall in Bog Walk, St. Catherine.
“The receipt books are now out. We have registered over 100,000 farmers. The receipt books are now at the Jamaica Agricultural Society and we will be distributing them in short order,” Minister Clarke said, adding that the books would be distributed to farmers islandwide, so that persons who purchased from them could be issued with a receipt.
He said that the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) was committed to the process and would be working with the Ministry to eradicate praedial larceny. “I don’t know how successful we will be, but we are going to try,” he added.
Minister Clarke urged the citrus farmers to issue receipts to persons who purchased their citrus.”When you sell your citrus, whoever buys from you, give him a receipt because when he is caught without the receipt, he will have to give an account and if he says that you sold him and you didn’t give a receipt, you are going to be in trouble,” Mr. Clarke stressed.
He informed that the Ministry of Agriculture was examining the possibility of setting up a system whereby farmers could supply hotels with specific produce on a contractual basis.
“We want every hotel in Jamaica to say what are the products they want, that can be produced right here in Jamaica and we will find a way to make our farmers produce for these hotels,” the Minister said, noting that a similar programme existed between Sandals and some farm groups.