At least one farmer wants Government to relax its drone ban so persons in that field can utilize them to protect their property.
Speaking during a National Consultation on Praedial Larceny this morning, owner of Ashbury Plantation Michael Gill, said he believes drones would be of great assistance to farmers, especially as they battle against increased instances of praedial larceny.
Since March 1, 2016, there has been a temporary suspension on the importation and licensing of remotely piloted aircraft systems in Barbados. On April 1, 2019, Government extended that suspension by a further 12 months.
Gill explained that while there were many ways to protect one’s property, aerial security was “the best option” for farmers. He recommended that the nod be given to farmers to engage these devices to protect their livelihood.
“I think the ministry should persuade whoever may be, the other departments in Government, to allow these devices to be imported and controlled by the farmers who wish to do it,” Gill said.
He said it was also important that the footage captured by the drones be permitted to be used as evidence in the courts.
“To follow through with that, it will have to be that the courts will accept the footage from the cameras as evidence,” Gill stated.
Additionally, the longtime farmer said legislation also needed to be put in place to protect the expensive equipment.
He called for harsh penalties to be imposed on those criminals who damage farmers’ security equipment to avoid being apprehended.
“I am suggesting that there be very heavy penalties for tampering, or stealing, or damaging the security equipment which we all are going to have to invest in.
“But the law has to provide to protect it. It makes no sense spending a lot of money on security equipment and losing it,” Gill pointed out.