By ANA NAISORO
Police on the island of Taveuni are putting in place stringent measures to ensure farmers are not robbed of their hard earned sweat.
This follows past trends where farmers are robbed of their agricultural produce by opportunists looking to earn a quick buck especially as we head into the festive season.
Officer in Charge Taveuni ASP Tomasi Yabakiono says while there has been a decrease in dalo and yaqona thefts on the island, his officers have been told not to be complacent about the issue.
“We have increased our agriculture beat and are getting out to know every farming community and all stakeholders to better understand the systems already in place in this million dollar industry”.
“Our focus is to ensure we eradicate the occurrence of these thefts and to successfully do that we need to put in checking mechanisms”.
Following a meeting of all stakeholders last week, agents and buyers have been urged to have registers to record all information about transactions that take place.
This is especially in light of the reported dalo thefts whereby agents and buyers were also informed that they could be charged for the offence of receiving if they fail to enquire the origins of the produce sold to them.
ASP Yabakiono says the concept has been endorsed and phase one will see agents and buyers setting up their registers.
“Important information such as who the dalo agent and buyers are, name/time/ID /vehicle/weight and price is to be noted down properly in this register”.
“The register can be inspected by police and by the office of the Provincial Administrator Taveuni at any time”.
Officers on the island will be stepping up their patrol in the coming weeks and particularly during the festive season.TAVEUNI POLICE STATION COMPARISON FIGURES FOR DALO AND YAQONA THEFT FROM JANUARY TO SEPT – 2011 TO 2013