RSS swoops down on marijuana farms
Front Page
September 28, 2007

RSS swoops down on marijuana farms

A crushing blow was delivered to the illegal Ganja farming industry in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), after a multi-national squad from the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) carried out a week of eradication exercises through out the country.{{more}}

The officers of the RSS were in SVG completing the practical aspects of a training course that was started in Barbados at the RSS base where they did the theoretical components. Commissioner Miller of the Royal SVG Police Force told SEARCHLIGHT that SVG was chosen for the practical exercises because of its hilly terrain, and he wished that more damage could have been inflicted on the illegal industry.

No area was spared; from the Windward side to Lowmans Hill around Kingstown, to the Northern Hills below the Soufriere Mountains, plants were destroyed and shacks burnt. Farmers of the illegal herb had to keep away from the bush or risk the consequences.

SEARCHLIGHT took its cameras to the Soufriere Hills where there was total devastation on some farms; the younger plants and seedlings were trampled, while the older plants were chopped down and burnt.

The average Ganja farm is about two acres in size and has different plots with plants of varying sizes. There may also be a plot where food is planted. An average shack is 15 x 20 feet with six bunks, storage, cooking areas and an area for drying the harvested marijuana plants. Some shacks are even outfitted with gas stoves, solar panels and portable televisions, and may cost from four to $8,000.

While some farmers can cushion this setback, many are unable to recover, and will have to forego this crop season. One farmer told SEARCHLIGHT he had already invested over $10,000 in his crop, “This is the first crop that I plant on my own, but it look like I will have to go back and plant with other people again,” he said.

A police spokesman told SEARCHLIGHT that the eradication programme was an on-going effort in the fight against the cultivation of ganja. The official estimate states that 870,161 plants, three bags of compressed marijuana and 111 shacks were destroyed.