A strong warning has come from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to persons engaged in theft of farmers crop.
Speaking at Sunday’s massive rally of Congress in Fond, St. Patrick, the party’s spokesman on Agriculture, Adrian ‘Persuader” Thomas outlined the plans of the party for those engaged in praedial larceny if the party wins the upcoming general election.
“There are some people in this country who (were) prepared to sit down on their idle backside … (and) when my farmers plant their crops, when my farmers rear their animals, when the fishermen invest in their vessel, they are prepared to come along and harvest before the farmers and steal the properties….”, he said.
“The National Democratic Congress (NDC), my brothers and sisters, we will ensure that we have legislation put in place so that when these culprits are caught they will be put in prison.”, he added.
Thomas told the gathering, the largest for the 2018 campaign: “We will not feed them, once they are under the age of 60 – they must work to feed themselves in their jail and they must work to compensate the farmers for what they have stolen.
“This is the plans of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). We are not joking, Praedial Larceny Culprits, they must pay dearly”, he said.
Thomas who will be contesting the St. David seat in the March 13 national poll announced that under a Congress government that a special day will be set aside for the farmers of the nation.
He said that just as there is a specific day designated towards mothers and fathers that a government formed by NDC will designate a specific day in the year for the farmers of the country.
“We have Mother’s Day in Grenada, am I right? We say we have Father’s Day in Grenada, I say we have Valentine’s Day, I say the teachers and the children; they have a whole month. Well my brothers and sisters, we love the farmers, we appreciate the farmers and I am going to put it to my Cabinet colleagues when we get into government, I am going to put it to them that we must declare one important day for the 10,000 farmers in this country”, he said.
Thomas also announced that the nutmeg will be designated as the national plant of Grenada to compliment the work of the farmers.
He told the gathering: “Are you aware of our national bird? Are you aware of our national flower? Are you aware of our national dish? Well, I am saying to you that it is time for the farmers of this country to have a national plant and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will like the Nutmeg Plant to be our national and sacred plant. That is the kind of business we want to do.
“Imagine the green leaves on this nutmeg plant, imagine the red mace and imagine the yellow pod. Brothers and sisters, this national plant must be embedded in every single Grenadian and the 10,000 farmers,” he added.
According to Thomas, Agriculture will once again become the main pillar of development in the country and that young people will be called upon to help propel it.
This, he said will be done through training of young people with the reopening of the Mirabeau Farm School and the opening of a school for fisherfolks.
With the development of the Cocoa, Banana, and Nutmeg productions which many years ago were thriving industries and animal production on the island of Carriacou, Thomas said agriculture can become what it once used to be.
“There is a saying in this country that young people don’t like agriculture and young people will not get involved in agriculture. We have news for these people who still have this wicked and bad idea in their heads because our young people in this country, they want progress, they know what is progress and let me tell you that young brothers and sisters who are listening to me here, who are listening to me on the television, who are listening to me at home, the young people of this country, they would not mind managing a factory that is processing agricultural produce….”, he said.
“We cannot, and I repeat, we cannot continue thinking of agriculture, like Cutlass and Fork and Spade. Agriculture is science and technology and oh my young brothers and sisters they are the ones who are most equipped to apply the Science and Technology in the agricultural sector.
Thomas made a plea for the island’s young population to express their true feelings on getting involved in the development of the agriculture sector.
“Young people, are you prepared to work in agriculture, shout it out for the world to hear and for NNP to hear, we will move that sector,” he said.