Traceability is needed to help alleviate praedial larceny in Barbados.

This was asserted by Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, as he addressed the Barbados Agricultural Society???s (BAS) Agriculture Symposium and luncheon yesterday, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Minister Estwick said that the Praedial Larceny Act was currently being examined by Cabinet, but there needed to be some ???form of traceability to know exactly where all agricultural products come from???.

He said that the only way this could be achieved was if everyone involved in the buying and selling of agricultural products was registered.

???How do you trace produce from farm A to farm B into the hands of a consumer? ??? We need to bring produce into a registration system just as you have farmers registering in Barbados. Everyone who is going to be selling agricultural produce must be registered in the system, once you are registered in the system, any activity outside of the registration has to be illegal,??? he noted.

He added that in order for the system to function effectively, it would have to be monitored by agricultural inspectors.?????We had to meet with the police??? We came up with a system where the agriculture inspectors are similar to traffic wardens who can go and check the areas where the selling takes place. We don???t think that will solve all the problems and so on, but we believe that bringing all agriculture vendors into a system of buying and selling is important,??? he pointed out.

Dr. Estwick added that there also needed to be some form of receipt system between the farmers and vendors. He said that the system could not only be implemented through legislation, but that it needed the cooperation of everyone involved in the sector.

???How do you get everyone to give receipts and accept receipts? It is extremely difficult and you cannot legislate that, but it has to be done in some form of training, and this is something that can be done under the BAS with everyone who has a vested interest in the sector, so that they give out as a requirement a receipt,??? he noted.

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