Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson (centre), has the full attention of farmers in Lowe River, Trelawny yesterday. ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson, says plans are well advanced for the use of drones to combat the problem of praedial larceny.
Addressing farmers and other stakeholders at a drone demonstration session in Lowe River, Trelawny, yesterday, Hutchinson informed that the unmanned aerial vehicles will be equipped with technology to locate stolen animals.
He noted that the use of the drones is expected to provide relief for farmers, who have been facing significant losses as a result of farm theft. It is estimated that some $5 billion worth of crops and livestock are lost annually due to the scourge. “Praedial larceny is one of those problems that have been plaguing farmers and have been threatening the growth of the sector for decades,” Hutchinson pointed out. “We are not saying the drones will be the end all, but we see where they can be an effective fighting tool against this scourge. This problem has stifled the growth of the sector and is a deterrent to many people who want to get into agriculture. We feel that the use of drones could be a game changer and the ringing in of a new era in the fight against praedial larceny,” he said. Hutchinson noted that the parish of Trelawny was the first stop for the drone demonstration, adding that sessions will be carried out in other parts of the island.
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