Mandatory registration of both farmers and vendors is on the cards as the fight against praedial larceny in Barbados continues.
Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick made the disclosure Tuesday, as he tabled the Protection of Agricultural Products and Livestock Bill.
Dr. Estwick says registration is a necessary step in efforts to protect and further the agricultural industry.
He says it also has positive ramifications for public health.
In addition, the capacity of the Royal Barbados Police Force to combat praedial larceny will be expanded through the introduction of uniformed wardens as part of the legislation.
Among their duties, will be the inspection of farmers and vendors' registration credentials and certificates of purchase.
The praedial larceny wardens will also be able to stop and search vehicles and apprehend people reasonably suspected of committing an offense under the act.
Opposition leader Mia Mottley says while the Barbados Labour Party supports many of the administrative aspects of the bill, but a lot of work has to be done on it before they can offer full support.
Ms. Mottley questioned the timing of the bill and says the Democratic Labour Party should have met with select committees before tabling it.
She says wide consultation is necessary for comprehensive and effective legislation
However Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite says it’s not true that stakeholders were not consulted before the new praedial larceny legislation was tabled.
Mr. Brathwaite says before any new legislation is tabled, it goes through many layers of review and consultation with stakeholders.
Barbadians who understand the problems facing farmers on a daily basis will show no opposition the protection of agricultural products and livestock bill.
Chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society and St Michael West Central Member of Parliament James Paul shared the view in Parliament in a passionate rebuttal to opposition leader, Mia Mottley's critique of the bill.
Mr Paul says it will provide a much needed ease for farmers and pave the way to increased economic growth for local agriculture.
He went on to argue that the bill will create new opportunities for the unemployed, especially the country's youth as it will create more confidence in the sector.