Tougher legislation promised for theft of agricutural produce


The government of Dominica is considering the imposition of new legislation to clamp down on the offense of praedial larceny.

Minister for Agriculture Matthew Walter, who spoke at a press conference earlier this week said that  the current statutory law under the offense needs to be revised.

He asserted that legislative provisions which are absent under this current law will be included, while existing provisions will be updated.

He also mentioned adopting a governmental intervention presently in place in St Lucia as means to help curb the problem.

“Predial larceny is rampant in St Lucia. St Lucia has a workable intervention which has brought about results and what we are trying to do, the ministry is trying to do, we are trying to replicate it in Dominica” he stated.

“I think what they are doing in St Lucia is to put in place what they call green police. The police monitor and give oversight in relation to persons who are illegally trading agricultural produce. We have sent for the document in St Lucia so that we can apprise ourselves of the content of the document and the methodology to see where it can be replicated in the Dominican context,” he said.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the ministry Samuel Carette said that the government will attempt to introduce measures which include the introduction of farmer registration cards and sellers license books as possible deterrents for the offense.

“Through the implementation of a number of measures for example… there must be the farmer registration cards and the farmer sellers license books and so on…The traders should also have some documentation or book that would allow them to verify and allow the customs and allow the packing houses to verify that they did…procure their supplies from bona fide farmers,” he said.

“There are efforts by government to better manage the export of agricultural commodities. That initiative will provide us with the opportunity to consolidate, to streamline, but importantly to … better capture the data on agricultural exports from Dominica, Carette said.

He said that apart from these initiatives, there are a number of other actions the government has already taken to address the issue.

“…Government has built a few facilities; the inland reception and distribution centers but also packing houses where all the commodities, agricultural commodities in Dominica will have to pass through or be certified before they can leave our shores….so we cannot view some of these interventions in isolation,” the permanent secretary stated.

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  1. Irie
    August 20, 2010

    They trying to revive agriculture in Dominica? Hmm all I saying is Limes dead, Fig in a coma, coconut, dasheen and those others in ICU. I heard de PM say government land available for lease for $1….I interested in setting up a zeb plantation….how can I apply?

  2. Anonymous
    August 20, 2010

    When Mathew Walter talks about agriculture of course his referring to the banana industry which is dead what part of that he does not understand.

  3. Anonymous
    August 19, 2010

    Carette,s comment on this issue puts the Minister of Agriculture in the gutters. Twelve years ago, St Lucia was our ‘copy-cat’ when we introduced our ‘Tourism Protection Unit’ within the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force. If the Honourable Prime Minister loves Dominica as he professes to, then he should take a ‘hard look’ at this Minister and do the right thing – ‘FIRE HIM’

  4. ok
    August 19, 2010

    about time it’s like farmers were being told tht they dont work as hard as other business people.

  5. Rosco
    August 19, 2010

    What about the punishment for those who steal from that State, are we ever going to pursue those thieves to? or are they above the laws of Dominica?

  6. SHAWN
    August 19, 2010

    i would like to see the program implemented properly and fully it can work and has worked in many samll countrys

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