Ministry to launch Omnibus Legislation to protect farmers against praedial larceny
THE ‘Omnibus Legislation’, which will be called the ‘Agricultural Registration and Protection Act’, currently being drafted to be passed later this year, will offer farmers a sense of peace and protection against ‘Praedial Larceny’.
This is according to Permanent Secretary, Elsworth Reid, in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management.
Reid revealed to The Barbados Advocate, “Going forward, the Ministry is looking to solve two major problems within the agricultural industry – problems which affect and deter farmers from agriculture. That of Praedial Larceny (crop theft) and the increasing monkey population.”
“Right now, we have the first draft of the ‘Omnibus Legislation,’ which will be called the ‘Agricultural Registration and Protection Act,’ to better protect farmers who often fall victims of praedial larceny.”
He emphasised, “Under previous legislation, there was difficulty in capturing persons guilty of praedial larceny, because too often persons are brought up under the wrong act, and often end up getting away in the court system, because the act persons would be charged with would not justify the deed.
“Hence the need for a legislation to protect farmers and address the issues of crop theft... one persons cannot get away from... an act that will call for harsh penalties on individuals caught selling or purchasing stolen items, because a registration system will be in place for persons buying and selling agricultural produce and sugar products, such as sugar cane.”
He pointed out, “Persons who engage in praedial larceny are worst than pests, and the increasing occurrence of crop theft needs to stop, and the Agricultural Registration and Protection Act will enforce and bring to an end crop theft within the agricultural sector.”
He noted, “In reference to the monkeys, we are trying to devise a plan against them. My personal view is that we can do something with the monkeys without killing them, by capturing them and neutering them to stop the population from growing.”
“At present, the Ministry is trying to reforest the Scotland District, as seen two weeks ago, with the planting of seven hundred and fifty fruit trees in the haggard areas, to make it a fruit basket for Barbados.”
He stated, “We are hoping that this reforestation programme in the Scotland District will serve and create a habitat for the monkeys, and go a far way in reducing the monkey invasion of ‘crop lands’ that are being cultivated for economical use.”