I refer to an October 17, 2020 online article by Guardian Media Newsroom published on CNC3’s Facebook page entitled, “Farmer kills man stealing plantains”. This is the sad evidence of the unfortunate reality that farmers across Trinidad and Tobago face on a daily basis; that of praedial larceny.
As per my contribution to the budget debate in the House of Representatives on October 09, 2020, I wish to reiterate that our farmers live in constant fear that their crops, machinery, vehicles, and other equipment can be stolen at any given moment, which in many cases has a crippling effect on their livelihoods.
Farmers are now very hard pressed to make praedial larceny reports, claiming that it is a waste of time since the Praedial Larceny Squad remains sorely understaffed, underfunded and resultantly outmaneuvered by the criminal element that torments them.
It is most unfortunate that in the entire 45 minute budget contribution made by the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries, the term “praedial larceny” was mentioned only once, when the Minister chose to blame the former PP Government, instead of addressing the issues that matter to farmers such as the upkeep and improvement of the Praedial Larceny Squad.
I wish to express my solidarity with the farmers across Trinidad and Tobago in calling for adequate resources to be vested in the Praedial Larceny Squad. Again, I say to the Government, it is high time to stop playing petty politics and give Agriculture the respect it deserves.