Praedial larceny  slowing expansion of coconut oil industry
October 4, 2013

Praedial larceny slowing expansion of coconut oil industry

Praedial larceny continues to plague the agricultural sector here.

Carmelita Williams of Sandy Bay says that the problem is affecting her, and her ability to earn a living.{{more}}

Williams says that she has been making coconut oil for some time now and is a member of an organized group, which has been working with the rural transformation unit in the Ministry of Agriculture to formalize their status.

“My father has a piece of crown land with a lot of coconut trees on there, and since the business started, sometimes when we go, we cannot find any coconuts,” the woman said.

“Persons are stealing the coconuts,” she continued.

Kurt Dougan, Administrative Officer at the rural transformation unit said that the issue of praedial larceny has been a major problem for the project.

According to Dougan, there are many traffickers in the area and some of them do not own lands.

“So they get the raw materials and sell them off cheaply — so they usually take a lot of the coconuts that these people use to make coconut oil,” Dougan explained.

He said that the issue has been raised before and the problem was brought to the attention of the forestry division. Dougan further said the issue is a serious one and not one which can be easily dealt with. He said there is a sufficient supply of the raw materials, but because of issues such as predial larceny, the quantities the producers need in order to begin producing for the regional market, are not available to them.

“So we will have to squash this, so they can wholly and solely benefit from the supply and land that they have,” Dougan said. (DD)