Senator for Agriculture and Fisheries Roderick St Clair insists Grenada must kickstart Praedial Larceny enforcement.
He recommends that the many government vehicles laid up for want of a spare part, be immediately fixed and put to use. Perhaps the police garage can be used to repair these vehicles, or the mechanics at the Mirabeau Farm Machine Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture. They have previously achieved a similar mission.
St Clair recommends no less than 30 Praedial Larceny patrols with officers/wardens empowered to enforce the Praedial Larceny legislation. “In that way, thieves and vendors will be scared. Thieves will be scared because they will be subject to charges, fines, and imprisonment. Vendors will also be scared therefore they will ensure they purchase produce from legit sources, else they will also be subject to charges, fines, and imprisonment.”
He also recommends that the patrols, working with the police, conduct Praedial Larceny roadblock searches similar to those for drugs and traffic offences, and when people are caught, apply full force of the law in a speedy manner. “Because this is more than theft of produce. This impacts on Grenada’s food security.”
St Clair also insists that all vendors must be registered. Among the duties of the Praedial Larceny patrols would be monitoring vendors, including supermarkets, restaurants, government institutions, the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), and exporters, to see who they are buying from. That is how we can link back to the registered farmers and ensure that the produce has been bought from legit sources.
With this approach, the consuming public can be assured that what they are buying from retail outlets and from their favourite eatery is not stolen produce nor has been harvested before time in cases when chemicals are used.
In short, this will assure the public that the local food supply is safe and show that the authorities are serious about protecting farmers’ produce. It’s time to ease this pain for our hard-working farmers especially under current circumstances.