Minister pleads with criminals to “raise your own livestock and plant your own crops”
Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein, is pleading with the criminal elements to leave the crops and livestock of hardworking farmers alone.
Responding to questions on large-scale looting of farmers’ crops and livestock in the Senate Chamber this afternoon, the Minister said he has been working feverishly to strengthen the Praedial Larceny Unit to protect farmers. The Minister empathized saying, “It takes farmers months and years to mind and sell these animals and people coming to loot; I am appealing to those intent on committing illegal activities to leave the farmers’ stock alone, go mind your animals, and plant your own.”
Senator Hosein said the Ministry staff is working assiduously to address the Unit’s issues and assured the public “I am on top of it.” The Minister further revealed that the Ministry is seeking to engage more officers in the medium term and continue to engage in discussions with the Ministry of Public Administration with the intent to hire forty (40) additional officers, in the first instance, to complement the current Praedial Larceny Squad (PLS). He emphasized the importance of building the capacity of the Squad saying that based on the availability of funding, and the need for officers to be able to efficiently respond to calls by farmers, the Ministry will continue consultations with the Squad.
Minister Hosein stated that the Ministry is in the process of procuring three (3) new fully equipped vehicles. It is anticipated that these will improve the ability of officers to conduct patrols. He also added that despite the constraints, they are employing innovative solutions. “Due to heightened illegal activity impacting our farmers, the Praedial Larceny Squad has been utilizing its connections with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), Trinidad and Tobago Municipal Police Service (TTMPS) and the Estate Management and Business Development Company Limited (EMBD) Police to respond and assist.”
In wrapping up his response in the Senate, the Agriculture Minister reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to addressing the concerns of the Praedial Larceny Unit and all personnel under its remit.