Sun | Mar 24, 2019

Letter of the Day | We need to clamp down on farm leeches

Published:Wednesday | September 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM


One of our daily newspapers recently carried a front-page article that spoke to the harsh treatment Clarendon farmers are experiencing at the hands of criminals. Crooks have been stealing goats from farmers in Clarendon and selling them or trading the meat for guns in Haiti.

This criminal activity has been fingered as a significant contributor to the bloodletting in the parish. This is so because farmers try to protect their animals and are killed in the process of doing so. This spate of killings triggers a chain of reprisals, thus causing a snowball effect.

The writer feels that while Clarendon is literally bleeding from the larceny of goats, cows and crops, its farmers are not the only ones suffering. Things will definitely get worse nationally if the problem is not addressed promptly.

The unfortunate reality is that praedial larceny is ripping poor farmers apart. It is strangling poor farmers.

Several small farmers have become discouraged, throwing their hands in the air, and have become non-productive or underproductive. I know of cases where farmers have been robbed repeatedly. With this experience, the farmer does not want to produce because he is not benefiting from his efforts.

I think that if we curb this plague, we will see the agricultural component of GDP soar. Crime task force MOCA should be engaged to crush the gangs that are responsible for retarding poor people who are already marginalised.

We must rid ourselves of praedial leeches!