There is concern that a measure reinstated two years ago to tackle the growing problem of praedial larceny is not being utilized by the same people it was meant to protect.
And chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul is calling not only on farmers to embrace the use of the Certificates of Purchase but for better enforcement as well.
The Certificate of Purchase, which is required by law, was reintroduced for farmers to issue to purchasers so that, in the event they were stopped by police, they could show proof of purchase.
“We want farmers to recognize that they need to get hold of those [certificate] books and use them,” Paul said.
“The other thing goes back to enforcement, because I think that what we need to do is that we need people, from time to time, and maybe we need inspectors in the market division, going out there and checking on people who sell goods at farmers’ markets, to determine whether or not they have these Certificates of Purchase. Because we should enforce them and if they are not there, there should be penalties on those persons who sell goods without those Certificates of Purchase,” added Paul.
He said the BAS had provided the Ministry of Agriculture with a template and the system was introduced but not all farmers seemed willing to use them.
“In all of this it depends really on the willingness of the farmers to use those books. We have placed some on farms before and some farmers have used them and some farmers have not . . . and we will be pushing those things,” said Paul.