Wed | Jan 20, 2021

Praedial larceny unit steps up campaign

Published:Wednesday | January 13, 2021 | 12:15 AM

In its continued drive to increase and spread knowledge about the devastating impact of the theft of agricultural produce on the country’s farmers, communities and economy, the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit has launched its essay and jingle competition.

The competition, which closes on January 31, is geared towards young Jamaicans, ages nine to 18. Entries should be submitted to plpu@moa.gov.jm on or before the deadline.

Praedial larceny prevention coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Kalecia Hall, encouraged persons to enter the competition, noting that the top-three entries in each category will be awarded cash and other prizes, including tablets, book vouchers and agricultural tools. The winners will also be featured on the ministry’s social media pages.

She explained that the nine-to-12 category will be asked to write an essay, not more than 600 words, on the topic ‘Praedial larceny affects us all. How can consumers/the general public help to stop the continued theft of agricultural produce?’.

“Each applicant should submit one essay, and the submission should be the original work of the applicant. If persons are referring to works that would have already being produced, we would encourage individuals to clearly state their sources,” she advised.

Hall said the jingle, which should not exceed two minutes, must consist of the phrases, ‘praedial larceny is everybody’s business’ and ‘don’t support it, report it’.

“For the jingle competition, applicants 13 to 18 years old must be seen performing the jingle, and in this particular category, up to two persons can team up to produce a jingle. It must be praedial larceny-related … and it must be the original work of the individual or group,” she said.

She added that the lyrics should not contain material that promotes violence and illegal activities, is discriminatory, has profane language, and that is the property of a third party.

HOPING FOR GREATER NUMBERS

Hall said previous competitions were held in 2016 and 2018. “Over the two years that the competition would have been held, we attracted participation with over 100 entries in the respective categories, and we are sincerely hoping that this time around, we can benefit from similar or greater numbers,” she said.

Meanwhile, Hall said the unit is looking to increase its public education efforts, while continuing to partner with the Jamaica Constabulary Force to address the continued theft of agricultural produce.

“For the first quarter of the year, we are hoping to increase our public education efforts; similarly, more workshops with members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, so that they are better able to treat with cases involving praedial larceny and farm theft,” she said.