Farmers encouraged to increase security during festive season
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is encouraging farmers to increase security around their farms, especially during the festive season.
Senior Livestock Specialist with RADA, Maxine Brown, said farmers can invest in technology to keep their farms safe.
“Farmers can use motion detectors with lights, so when movement takes place the light will come on and alert you that something is not right at your farming area. You can then call a police officer to come and investigate your farm,” she said.
Brown said the police will also be able to advise farmers on security, based on the location of their farms and how animals are kept.
“Based on where your farm is located, they can tell you what may be potential areas of weakness from which somebody can breach your farm. You can use that information to strengthen aspects of your farm,” she said.
In addition to getting help from the police to protect farms, Brown recommends that farmers who live near each other should work together.
“It’s easy for persons to form WhatsApp groups. Farmers producing in a particular area can create a group, so that if somebody sees something or hears something, they can quickly type a message, so everybody can know that something is not right and can go and check it out,” she said.
Meanwhile, RADA is also encouraging farmers to be careful while doing business transactions during the yuletide season.
The livestock specialist explained that thieves can come and take all of the farmers’ animals, including those that the farmers had no intention of selling.
Because of this, she is advising farmers to separate their livestock.
“If you select the animal that you want to sell, when a person comes to your farm to purchase, don’t show them all your animals. You don’t want them to go too close to where you have all the other animals, so that they can scope out your area or scope out your farm and come back and rob you later on,” she said.
Brown is also encouraging farmers to do cash transactions at police stations or banks, instead of on the farm.
“You also don’t want to do these transactions at night. Try to do it in the early part of the day, where everybody can see everything clearly, and you can see your surroundings and know what is taking place and if anything is looking too suspicious. If you’re just not sure, sometimes you have to follow your instincts,” she said.