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Stakeholders react to Powell firing

Published:Saturday | April 28, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Stakeholders in the local agricultural sector are hopeful that the sacking of Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) boss, Al Powell, will give the organisation a new lease on life and ultimately impact their lives in a positive way.

"I would hope it will bring about the kind of change that the agriculture sector needs," Roy Baker, president of the Jamaica Egg Farmers Association, told The Gleaner. "Not because of the individual, but because a lot is lacking and must be improved if there is going to be growth of any kind."

However, Angella Bardowell, past president of the Jamaica Pig Farmers Association, is of the view that it requires more than the sacking of Powell to make the entity effective.

"I don't know if one person (being fired) could make a difference," Bardowell told The Gleaner yesterday. "What RADA needs is resources to carry out its function effectively.

"Without resources, it will not be able to carry out its mandate, which is to assist farmers," Bardowell added.

Fired following audit

Powell, who became head of RADA in 2008, was reportedly fired following an internal audit on the operations of the authority, which was presented at a board meeting on Thursday.

Indications are that Powell was not able to provide a satisfactory account of his management of the agency.

Powell is to be temporarily replaced by Don McGlashan, director general in the Ministry of Agriculture. He is to act as CEO until a replacement is identified.

The audit reportedly revealed that there was no documentation of Powell's credentials on file at the agency. In addition, the audit reportedly revealed misconduct on Powell's part in other areas of the agency's handling.

Attempts to contact Roger Clarke, the minister of agriculture and fisheries, and Donovan Stanberry, his permanent secretary, were unsuccessful.

RADA, which is a statutory body under the Ministry of Agriculture, was established through an Act of Parliament in 1990. It replaced the Land Authorities Act.