News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Recently, the Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban visited another local farmer to continue discussing the increased incidents of theft and security strategies that have proved successful.

The Minister, who was accompanied by Principal Agricultural Officer Mr Tommy Sinclair, also discussed the industry’s ongoing challenges facing farmers.

The public will be aware of the term “night farming”, used to describe the theft of produce from farms and gardens, is usually carried out under cover of darkness. 

Since the pandemic, the incidence of night farming across Bermuda has increased significantly, with reports of theft even occurring during the day. 

Generally, those most impacted are commercial farmers who rely on selling their produce to provide for themselves and their families.

Following the visit, Minister Roban said: “Like any business, the theft of items they would otherwise sell significantly impacts the success of that enterprise. To put it into perspective, the theft of produce from farmers and the damage caused by the act is no different than a thief breaking into a brick and mortar store and stealing merchandise.”

The Minister continued: “Furthermore, farming is extremely laborious, and despite involving a great deal of blood, sweat and tears, profit margins are quite narrow. Therefore, when persons steal for whatever reason, they take food from farmers and impact their livelihood. This behaviour is unacceptable and must come to an end.

“That said, I acknowledge that in these challenging times, many individuals are finding themselves unemployed due to no fault of their own. I recognise that some people in this country who are struggling to feed their families may resort to night farming out of desperation. To those individuals, if you have not done so already, I urge you to contact the Department of Financial Assistance as there is support available to families in need.

“The public will know that much of the produce we consume is imported. However, our island’s food security and sustainability are highly dependent on local farmers supplementing what we eat. We cannot take for granted the importance of local farmers to our way of life.

“As part of Bermuda’s Economic Recovery Plan, diversifying our economy through the growth of new and existing industries is one of this Government’s priorities. The Farming industry and the opportunities it presents is of great importance to the future of Bermuda. This Government is actively pursuing future farming methods and technologies, like vertical farming, which can increase locally sourced produce to secure this local industry further.

“The opportunity is there, and we must encourage the adoption of these technologies and attract those eager, industrious young Bermudians into the farming industry as a career opportunity.”

Feature Photos Courtesy of the Department of Communications: Minister Roban with Mr Tommy Sinclair and security cameras in use