Agriculture DG cautions con-consultants

Scammers who are going around and proposing to cattle farmers that they will write project proposals for their cattle projects with assurance that it would guarantee funding through the European Development Fund (EDF11), and request a fee in return, are warned to stop.

Director General of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Biosecurity (MALFFB), Moses Amos made the statement following reports of certain people who are engaged in this illegal activity.

The Department of Livestock has confirmed they have names of individuals who are currently undertaking this unacceptable practice, particularly targeting cattle farmers on Santo.

DG Amos said farmers should go to the authorised institutions which are the Department of Agriculture and Department of Livestock to seek information but not to rely on individuals.

To those alleged con artists, the DG stressed, “Please stop conning farmers”.

Alain Simeon, Communications Officer to the Department of Livestock confirmed the department has not authorised any parties nor individuals to conduct this particular exercise on their behalf and explained the process into the utilisation of the proportion of the fund which is specifically targeting the cattle restocking programme.

“There is a process to follow in order for farmers to benefit from the EDF11 funding.

“The Department will develop program activities and submit them to the Project Implementation Task Force (PITF) for approval of activities.

“If the activities are approved, PITF will instruct Finance Department to release funding to the specific approved programmes.”

“Lessons learnt from the phase one of the cattle restocking programme has assisted the department to identify areas that needed to be considered in order to boost the reproduction of cattle.

“There are criteria that the department has outlined.

“These include; having a fenced cattle paddock, good pasture, availability of water within the cattle farm, having a stockyard and acquire knowledge on farm management skills.

“Therefore, farmers who are interested in the second phase of the programme will need to consider the above.”

Mr. Simeon said since there are procedures to follow in order to engage in the cattle restocking program, the con-artists are asked not to lie to the farmers.

DG Amos, on the other hand said farmers would not be expecting to receive lump sum from the funding, as the fund would be directed to fund technical services.

Meanwhile, the Second Phase of the Cattle Restocking programme is scheduled for launching on April 15, 2015 on Santo.

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