The Star (Jamaica)
Green promises stronger praedial larceny laws
Agriculture Minister Floyd Green said that praedial larceny is one of the glaring issues holding back the development of the small ruminant sector.
Sheep and goats are among the small ruminants that are raised by farmers locally. Green said that his ministry will be taking steps to ensure that thieves pay dearly for preying on farmers.
“We are going to be amending our Agricultural Produce Act to ensure that the penalty reflects the crime. As it is now, it does not. The maximum fine of $250,000 can’t even buy back two goats. That penalty doesn’t reflect the crime and we are going to be moving up those fines to send a clear signal that this is unacceptable,” Green said.
“Additionally, we are going to be working with the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) to reinstitute agricultural wardens. We need more boots on the ground quite frankly. We need to look at those areas where we have significant challenges and train persons to the level of district constables. We want wardens back out in the field so they can give some more human resource to work with,” he added.