An increased wave of break-ins and theft at the Antigua and Barbuda Farmer Layers Association is causing frustration among farmers in the country who have reportedly suffered over $50,000.00 in losses.
Emmanuel Peters, the President of the Association said the break-ins intensified over the past two weeks.
“This theft has been happening for a while but at a very minuscule level, but it has ramped up over the past few weeks, and farmers have lost thousands of dollars in feeds and chickens,” he said.
Peters said on Thursday that farmers have been trying to find ways to secure their surroundings by building fences around their property, at an additional cost to them.
“These farmers are under attack. It has been happening back to back. There are specific areas that suffer the most. Most of the farmers have to sleep outside their farms in their vehicles…” Peters said.
Furthermore, Peters says farmers have been accepting the losses since they cannot get insurance
“It’s all 100 percent on farmers with no real compensation. The insurance is not willing to provide converge for us because it’s a very high-risk job, nor is there any allocation within the government. We are on our own. We have been trying to seek help” Peters said.
The farmers say setting up CCTV cameras can help the farmers, but most of them, are unable to do so.
“The only thing that helps us is to have active cameras on the job. The majority of the farmer’s zone doesn’t even have utilities so electricity is also an issue…” he explained.
Meanwhile, Peters said farmers have done their due diligence behind the scene but were reluctant to give further details
“Farmers have their suspects but we cannot call any names to avoid it from hampering investigations. We have no real proof anyway,” he said
The farmers are relying on not just the police but also members of the public for help in finding the perpetrators.