Mayor of Falmouth, Colin Gager, is calling for the overhauling of the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit which he says has become inactive in the parish of Trelawny.
"Today (Ash Wednesday) I ask a very personal and pertinent question, and for sure I would like to know. What has happened to the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit which at one point was very active and effective in the parish of Trelawny?" the mayor questioned.
Speaking at the Hague Agricultural Show, Gager added: "I use this medium to call for the active enforcement of the Praedial Larceny Prevention Act to ensure that the livelihood of our farmers is safeguarded."
He also called for the empowerment of agricultural wardens.
"I am calling for the institution and empowering of our agricultural wardens who, under the Praedial Larceny Prevention Act, serve to detect the commission of any offence, and to apprehend or summon before a justice (of the peace), persons found committing any such offences," Gager said.
He commended the farmers, who he said continue to work under less than favourable conditions at times, to market their crops and livestock, and was sympathetic towards their plight with theft of their produce.
"We continue to see the best of our produce being displayed on all levels,” noted the mayor. “But even as I commend the dedication and tenacity of our farmers, I cannot appear naïve to the struggles and plights with which they are ever so often confronted."
"As a farmer myself, I am very much concerned about the levels of theft that our farmers grapple with. Having toiled and laboured so hard, unscrupulous men and women come in like thieves in the night and steal from our crops and livestock,” he stated.
"Our famers deserve to enjoy the benefits of the fruits of their labour. I also encourage our farmers to be vigilant, to be wise, and also to exercise climate-smart farming practices to mitigate against losses – man-made or otherwise."