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  • Mr. Charles Jr. said it is estimated that Jamaican farmers suffer losses of more than $5 billion per annum due to praedial larceny.
  • “In fact, it hampers the growth and expansion of local production and hampers productivity in the agricultural and fisheries sector generally,” Minister Charles Jr. said.
  • “The judiciary is going to be critical. The partnership with the office of the Chief Justice and the Constabulary Force [is important], so that you know how to deal and treat with criminals when you capture them and you know how to deal with those who are purchasing [these] items,” Mr. Charles Jr. stated.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. says the Ministry through the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit, has been pursuing several strategies to combat the illegal activity.

Mr. Charles Jr. said it is estimated that Jamaican farmers suffer losses of more than $5 billion per annum due to praedial larceny.

“[It] will be one of the issues of importance that we will tackle, because if we don’t get this right, we cannot and will not have a sustainable agricultural (sector),” he said.

The Minister was speaking during the virtual praedial larceny essay and jingle competition awards ceremony on January 21.

He noted that the Ministry considers farm theft a critical deterrent to the development of rural communities especially, and consequently national development.

“In fact, it hampers the growth and expansion of local production and hampers productivity in the agricultural and fisheries sector generally,” Minister Charles Jr. said.

Among the strategies being pursued is the proposed amendments to the Agricultural Produce Act to facilitate the effective regulation of trade and movement of agricultural produce.

Another critical aspect is the formation of effective farm watch groups, as well sensitization and capacity building sessions with all stakeholders, particularly the judiciary.

“The judiciary is going to be critical. The partnership with the office of the Chief Justice and the Constabulary Force [is important], so that you know how to deal and treat with criminals when you capture them and you know how to deal with those who are purchasing [these] items,” Mr. Charles Jr. stated.

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