Nation and state are two terms whose differences we ought to understand.

Nation and state are important terms that should be clearly understood, especially by those of us who have an interest in politics. There is a distinct difference between the two terms nation and state; but to some of us, that difference seems unclear. A nation can be defined as, “a large aggregate of people united by common decent, history, culture and language”. A state can be defined as, “a territory considered as an organized political community under one government”.

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“Nation” refers to People, those of the same ethnicity whose size is large enough to allow them to be deemed a nation as defined above. “State” refers to Territory, Government and its Institutions, the territory and Government of a nation or nations. Government institutions are those arms of government which implement government policy, directly or indirectly, in part or whole, for the benefit of the people and the state.

The state may or may not be a partial or full provider of welfare assistance to people. It must, however, be the provider of  services in such areas as: the judiciary, law and order, national security, piped drinking water, ports of entry, education and the political economy. These and several other areas are vital to the perpetuity of a nation and state.

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It is through the state that the most noble ideals and aspirations of a nation are realized. It is through the state too, that the practical and common good is realized. It is also through the state that a nation sometimes realizes the lowest depths of failure, degradation and disgrace. We remember Hitler’s Third Rich.

A nation can exist without a state. A nation does not have to be settled and have a physical homeland to be a nation. A nomadic people who meet the criteria of a nation above is a nation.

The Biblical nation of Israel, before its exodus from Egypt, was not settled in a homeland of its own but it still was a nation.  They were slaves in the land of their masters but still saw themselves, and were treated by others, as another nation.

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They did not have statehood. They demanded of Pharaoh to let them go, and he did. They then journeyed to their homeland and created a homogeneous state. A state needs at least one nation for its existence.

A colonized people who meet the criteria of a nation and live in their own settled homeland is a nation without statehood. Colonization does not destroy the nationhood of a people; and independence does not confer nationhood upon a people. Colonization and independence are related to statehood, they are not related to nationhood.

A state can be comprised of one nation or it can be comprised of more than one nation. A nation-state or homogeneous state is a state comprising of only one nation. A multinational-state is a state comprising of two or more nations.

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Poland is a good example of a single-nation or homogeneous state (about 98% of its population are ethnic Polish). Belgium is an example of a multinational-state. Its northern region is home to ethnic Dutch people (54%); and its southern region is home to ethnic French people (36%). The US also is an example of a multinational state.

A nation is a mass of people who share the same ethnic connections and gene pool. A state is a land area and its functioning government and political machinery, and the body of laws by which it governs.

by Edward Fagan

Old sayings and truth, if there’re connected, should be seen as having such a connection when closely examined. 

Old sayings and truth are understood to be reflected in the sayings “The love of money is the root of all evil”, and “Self praise is no praise”. Is this view of these and other such sayings correct?. The first saying has always been inaccurately interpreted. The second saying, similarly, has always been, not only misunderstood but used in attempts to destroy the self image of others.

The source of the first saying is the Holy Bible. The origin of the second saying may be lost in time even though we know when it first appeared in writing.

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The book of 1 Timothy 6:10 states, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (King James Bible)

The saying, “Self praise is no recommendation” first appeared in writing in the early 19th century. It however, may have been in use verbally, in one variant or another, long before this time.

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Concerning the Biblical quote above, 1 Timothy 6:10, it can be read thus, “For the love of money is the root of all evil [of the type]: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (Textual content in square brackets is added by this writer.)

The love of money can lead to one or more of “all” of the “evil” practices which can be related to the love of money. In the case of this quoted passage, the evil practices pursued are the coveting of money “which while some coveted after,” and the rejection of God’s intended way of life for us “they have erred from the faith,”.

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They (who covet money and reject God’s intended way of life for us) experience the consequence of their sinful action even in the temporal life “and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”.

Those who covet money as mentioned above, ignore the tenth commandment in the Holy Bible, Exodus 20: 17; Deuteronomy 5: 21. The passage quoted above clearly expects us to practice this commandment even in relation to matters involving money.

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‘The love of money is the root of all money-based evil.’, is a more accurate usage of this saying. The traditional usage of this saying, ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.’, seems to suggest that the love of money is the motive behind all evil.

Evil existed long before the advent of man, and longer still before the creation and use of money. The love of money, therefore, could not be the root of all evil. There also is evil practiced by man that has no connection to money or its use.

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“Self praise is no recommendation”, is the earliest written variant of this saying. Like most of these types of sayings, this saying was created by simple rural folk in response to certain situations involving people and property. The type of person and situation for whom this saying was created, were perhaps aptly addressed by the saying.

This saying, however, was not created for use against persons whose performance in their field spoke well of them.  A person’s work can and should recommend them, according to the quality of that work.

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Old sayings and truth can and many times do have a connection, but this is not always the case. Using our old familiar sayings is convenient, conservational, nostalgic and can save us a bit of time, so let us continue to use them; but let us use them with a little more understanding for increased accuracy and effect.

By Edward Fagan

 

Diary keeping, the practice, its types and their advantages.

Diary keeping as a practice allows us to be able to say a few things about it. Diary keeping is a good practice for any person and, additionally for some of us, it is a necessity. Those of us who record or intend to start recording entries in a diary, irrespective of the frequency of those entries, might need to ensure that our present or intended method of diary keeping is optimal for our needs.

We then can consider changing our method or intended method of diary keeping if we find that it does not meet our requirements.

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Many people who do not keep a diary now, may have been interested in keeping and attempted to keep a manual diary in the past. Many such persons might have given up the practice out of concern that the diary might fall into the wrong hands and to their detriment.

The lives of some of those persons, over time, may have changed, giving them more reason to want to keep a diary now. There may be a greater need now, more than was the case in the past, to record their thoughts, speech and actions.

About diary keeping here’s a reminder, that we can keep several diaries simultaneously, with each diary being used to record activity of a different type. For example, we can keep a different diary each for: personal activity; work activity; individual hobbyist activities (with each hobby having its own diary) etc. This helps to simplify information retrieval and quicken up the process.

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The manual form of diary keeping appeals to the person who prefers to write and edit their entries by hand. The risk of ones diary falling into the wrong hands is therefore one that such persons might have to endure. Much of what has been said so far has been about manual diary keeping.

What about diary keeping using digital technology? The digital diary offers a much smaller degree of risk of falling into the wrong hands than the manual or hand written diary. It also is not accessible by hackers if it is kept offline.

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 The digital diary is totally accessible (for adding entries, reading, editing etc.) using any computer, server, gadget, external drive and location that are connected to the internet. It can be shared across multiple: computers, servers, gadgets and external drives using an Ethernet connection. It can be located on any computer, server, gadget, external drive or the cloud, in any location, and can be online or offline.

It thus is a relatively safe and very convenient form of diary; and it should appeal to those who are interested in the digital world and information technology.

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There are, then, three options for diary keeping based on the media used and the corresponding method of adding entries to the diary. They are, the manual diary, the digital diary and the double diary (using both manual and digital diaries). Diary keepers and prospective diary keepers can decide on their diary keeping preferences, and then choose the type of diary that meets their requirements.

By Edward Fagan

 

Honesty is a subject about which I hold strong views, even though it’s an unpopular subject these days.

Honesty is a very important quality to have; it is also a very important practice to keep on a daily basis through out one’s life. My thoughts are strong on this subject whose practice, it seems, has never been more necessary than it is now.

Why should our public servants, responsible persons in business, commerce and industry, and everyone else have and practise this quality? Can every normal person effectively have and practise this quality irrespective of their social and economic standing? What are the benefits of having and practising this quality?

Honesty should be practised because it is necessary for the enjoyment of fairness by all parties equally, who are committed in any transaction involving the exchange of property or the offer or use of services.

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Yes, every normal person can effectively practise honesty irrespective of their social and economic standing. Normal persons who do not practise honesty choose not to practise it.

The benefits of practising honesty fall within a wide range. Some of these benefits have national social and economic implications; and some are more private and personal in nature. Some of these benefits are mentioned below in more detail.

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Those who are in public life, or hold responsible positions in business, commerce and industry should be very careful to practise honesty in their respective fields.

The practice of honesty as private citizens is important for the reasons mentioned above, and because this is the pool from which public servants and those in responsible positions in the private sector are drawn. At the private level, we have all, at some time, experienced a sense of deprivation of justice and property at the hands of dishonest persons. Petty thieves, muggers and burglars also remind us of the need for honesty in private life.

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 The benefits of practicing honesty include: Fairness: The practice of honesty ensures fairness of behaviour in situations which involve: the collection, storage, or distribution of goods, and the provision of or the benefitting from services.

Example: An international lending institution once said that a certain kleptocratic country could repay its national debt in full, if its leaders returned the country’s money that they stole and deposited overseas.

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Under colonial rule, the country was well run and had a very promising economy. Following independence, the country became a notorious kleptocracy. This resulted in its having to incur a huge national debt which unfairly fell on the backs of the mass of the people.

During this period, the cost of living increased greatly and the standard of living decreased to an even greater extent correspondingly, among the mass of the people. The small ruling elite and their senior civil service supporters enjoyed a degree of unfair opulence at the cost of the unfair suffering of the rest of the population.

After conviction and sentencing to prison, following a court trial, such dishonest politicians and other public figures should be required to write a piece titled, “Honesty: My Thoughts.

 

Economic prosperity: The practice of honesty in situations involving economic activity contributes to the economic prosperity of those involved by allowing them full access to their fair share of goods and services. The relationship between honesty and economic prosperity is well known but often overlooked for the sake of expediency. The story that is mentioned after the word “Example” above, indicates some of the economic deprivation that can result from the absence of honesty in public life.

The connection between financial dishonesty and failure at the micro economic level is also well known. Most of us know of a case where a business failed due to the absence of the practice of honesty in some aspect of its financial activity. Such failure to practice honesty has resulted in instances of investors loosing large sums of money and experiencing financial ruin.

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 Political stability: The practice of honesty in the political economy helps to prevent persons from being unfairly deprived of their fair share of opportunity for socio-economic advancement. It also helps to allow them full access to their fair share of goods and services, according to the capacity of the economy to produce them. These conditions foster a sense of understanding of and sympathy with the efforts of those in power. This in turn helps prevent the growth of dissent, social unrest and political disruptiveness.

Spiritual growth: Constant practice of honesty, which is the eighth commandment in the Bible, as well as the practice of the other nine commandments (Exodus 20:3-17), will contribute greatly to our spiritual growth and development.

 

Honesty always serves the fair advantage of all concerned. Dishonesty always serves the unfair advantage of the few and the unfair disadvantage of the many. The choice is clear whenever there is a requirement to choose between honesty and dishonesty by persons in the public sector, those in responsible positions in the private sector, and private citizens.

By Edward Fagan

They need help sometimes following release from penal institutions and except in certain cases, we should accommodate them.

They need help sometimes following their release from penal institutions. When our relatives and friends seek our help and support after their period of incarceration ends and they return to society, except in certain cases, this help should be given to them; and when it s given, it should be given selflessly.

The nature of the offence committed and the known disposition of the offender are important points to consider when deciding whether or not to offer help. These and other points will determine whether or not help is offered, the type of help that may be offered and the duration of any help that is offered. These and other points will also determine the terms of any help that may be offered.

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Those who are offered help are going to be first time offenders only. They are going to be persons whose offence did not involve any kind of violence except in a case of self defense within the law.

They are also going to be persons who display an ability to control their temper and navigate situations involving minor tension and conflict between others and themselves. They are going to be persons with a known disposition toward normal behaviour. For example, the type just mentioned is going to be capable of performing in a job at the checkout point of a relative’s or friend’s retail business. (One’s self control is sometimes tested in this kind of situation.)

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 Those who are known to be honest and whose offence did not involve stealing money. Those whose offence did not involve sexual misconduct and whose past behaviour did not indicate a disposition toward that kind of misconduct.

The type of help offered can include food, clothing, shelter, employment, personal transportation, a spending allowance and money for start up business.

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The period of time during which this help is given will be determined by the needs of the recipient, the nature of the help offered and the terms under which the help is offered.

The help mentioned here is supposed to be of a temporary nature only and may be offered on a short or long term basis. It is intended to help recipients achieve a level of stability and basic self reliance and allow them to live normally without a permanent need for this help.

By Edward Fagan

 

 

Taking personal responsibility in stride is a great step in the right direction.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can be a good and useful approach. It is an approach that can determine and shape how and what we and the circumstances of our life become now and in the future.

This approach can involve setting deliberate (and idealistic or practical) but achievable goals. It can involve deciding on and putting in place, carefully thought out and workable plans to achieve such goals. It can also involve actively working according to those carefully thought out plans until those set goals are achieved.

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This approach is one of the most effective ways in which we can demonstrate our sureness of the value and worth of the individual person.

This approach is also a very effective way for us to develop, utilize and benefit from, our own natural gifts and abilities.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can have a lasting and beneficial effect on all of the important areas of our life.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can favorably affect us in relation to such important areas as: our relationship to God and religion; education, career, retirement, income and finance; diet, exercise, recreation and health; marriage, family, home, property and personal transportation.

The rights and freedoms of the individual in relation to our being able to take personal responsibility in our own life are important. In order for us to be able to take personal responsibility in our own life we must have the right and sufficient freedom to do so.

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The current circumstances of our life in relation to taking personal responsibility in our own life are also important. The circumstances of our life determine the base from which we will start in our attempt to take personal control of our own life.

The circumstances of our life can help indicate what we need and do not need to change. These circumstances of life can be used to determine general and detailed areas of emphasis, specific actions to be undertaken, the order in which actions should be undertaken, desirable outcomes etc.

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It is necessary that we clearly identify to ourselves, our needs and preferences, our natural abilities, our physical resources and other relevant aspects of our circumstances of life. It is necessary also that there exist the necessary individual rights and freedoms mentioned above. When these conditions are met and we get the call to start taking personal responsibility in our own life, we should heed this call.                 .

By Edward Fagan

Daddy of mankind was an ape-like creature according to some anthropologist.

Daddy of mankind was an ape-like creature? Here are a few questions for evolutionists about an animal that they claim is the daddy of all mankind. That animal, by the way, is the daddy of all mankind except those of us who came by another means, namely, the creation of the God of the Holy Bible.

It is known as “The Theory of Evolution”. Has it become scientific fact or is it still theory or hypothesis?

Can anybody say at what point along the evolutionary road does our animal daddy start to evolve from his not having a human spirit to his having one.

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At first he had no human spirit (He was an animal.); at last he had a human spirit (He became a human.). He had no spirit and then he had a spirit? His body evolved and a human spirit just turned up out of the blue?

Shouldn’t he have had something in existence in the first place to start the evolutionary process from that something to the human spirit? What was that something if he had such a something? (Some fish, they tell us, rubbed their scales against rocks and feathers evolved after some time. These fish had a body which evolved to become a bird body. These fish had a body from which to start the evolution journey.)

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The Holy Bible tells us that there is a spirit in man, Job 32: 8. Animals do not have this spirit and they do not need it. Do evolutionists have any theories about the existence of the human spirit (the living spirit that dwells in us humans)? Can they tell us anything about the source and evolution of that spirit? Can they tell us if it evolved from nothing at all or if it evolved from something?

Can something evolve from nothing? Do evolutionists deal with physical evolution only or do they also deal with spiritual evolution? Do evolutionists have an explanation for my experience of the human spirit that lives inside of me?

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Not only the human spirit, what about the mind, intellect, intelligence, the wisdom faculty, memory recall and reproduction, and will? These faculties are all symptoms of the spirit that dwells within us humans. Did our animal ancestor evolve these non physical faculties from nothing into what they are, too? It looks like fairy tale magic to me if the evolutionists answers to these questions are rooted in hypotheses.

By Edward Fagan

Friendship is the most fundamental element in all successful human relationships.

Friendship is perhaps the most common of all human relationships. Friendship is also the binding quality that is found in every relationship that is working and whose members get along.

Friendship includes such qualities as understanding, patience, forgiveness, sensitivity, tolerance, kindness, sympathy, empathy and so on. Friends will choose peaceful, harmonious interaction over interaction that is troublesome, conflicting and confusing.

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Practical friendship involves friends performing acts of helpfulness and kindness toward each other and forgiving each other when mistakes are made or wrongful acts are done.

The members of any type of relationship which does not have the binding quality of friendship will experience conflict within that relationship. Those members will tend to drift apart from each other and eventually the relationship will end. A marriage, for example, can break up because its partners failed to be friends for an indefinite period.

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All types of relationship can benefit by having the binding quality of friendship including: romantic, family, workplace, professional/client, business, seller/buyer, social/sports club and religious groups.

This binding quality can repair relationships whose damage results from the absence of friendship. Such relationships include marriages in which partners are not friends. Members of such relationships need to become friends and develop the qualities of friendship and perform the acts of friendship as mentioned above.

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Friendship’s binding quality can also repair relationships whose damage results from causes other than the absence of friendship. Here’s an example: Mark and David are very good friends; each owns a small building contractor company; an important tender for a contract is advertised; it is the kind of contract of which both men dream; they both bid; both men are interviewed several times and asked to offer an alternative quote; finally, after both men wait with bated breath, David’s bid is accepted, he is offered the contract; Mark is saddened; he gradually ends his friendship with David; David is unhappy about losing Mark’s friendship; he forgives mark and offers him some of his newer contracts; Mark accepts David’s offer of these contracts and is happy once again; and finally, Mark resumes his friendship with David.

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The importance of friendship as a relationship or as a part of all relationships should never be overlooked. True friendship embodies all of the best qualities we can have and all of the best acts we can perform toward each other. The qualities we develop and our mastery of the acts we perform when we practice true friendship are transferable to all other types of relationship. We should therefore use every opportunity we get to practise true friendship.

By Edward Fagan

 

Forgiveness is a quality we need to have, and a practice we need to apply.

Forgiveness of others involves our showing them unconditional mercy and refusing to hold against them, the wrong they have done to us. Such wrongdoing against us can be accidental or deliberate. We refuse to seek revenge against them but may ask them to correct a course of action to restore a state of just behaviour toward us.

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We may, for example, (especially if the wrongdoing was deliberate) ask them to return property they have taken from us or ask them to compensate us for that property. We may also ask them to promise that they will not commit such wrongdoing against us in the future.

Forgiveness is not a reserve of religion. Its principle can be embraced and it can be practised by everyone including theists, atheists, skeptics and agnostics. It also is not peculiar to a particular people or culture.

The underlying principle of forgiveness is good and worthwhile in itself; and it is universal and timeless. When we practise forgiveness we further develop it as a quality thereby contributing to the development of true character.

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The practice of forgiveness is related to and may involve the practice of such other qualities as sympathy, empathy, forbearance and so on. The practice of these qualities also contribute to the development of our character.

The practice of forgiving and the attendant development of our character can be of benefit to both the forgiver and the forgiven. Such ability to forgive and the corresponding enhancement of character can also benefit all of our relationships. The practice of forgiveness can also benefit the social units to which we belong and the wider community in which we live. At the community level, physical violence, crime and incarceration and the economic cost of these areas of activity are but a few of the areas that can benefit from the practice of forgiveness as it is viewed above.

By Edward Fagan

Farmers and the authorities can take these simple steps to greatly reduce the present level of praedial larceny.

Farmers and the authorities working together and significantly reducing the current level of praedial larceny across our communities is testing but not impossible. There are some simple steps that we can take through legislation and its enforcement that can significantly reduce the level of this type of theft.

Our vegetable farmers play a very important role in our community and the wider society. They produce food for our consumption thus helping us to become more self sufficient in the area of food production.

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They are hardworking and dedicated people. They make many sacrifices and often undergo much hardship and difficulty. Some of this hardship and difficulty is caused by vegetable thieves who often reap and make off with whole crops. The thieves sell these crops to unsuspecting buyers for easy profit. The farmer suffers an even greater loss.

We can not afford to lose our farmers through their giving up on agriculture because of this problem; we need to act now.

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We need to legislate for and enforce the following approach to deal with this problem:

Registration of each of the following categories of individuals and businesses who are involved in vegetable retail and or wholesale and who:

  • Produce to retail (Register of Producers who Retail)
  • Produce to wholesale (Register of Producers who Wholesale)
  • Buy to retail (Register of Buyers who Retail)
  • Buy to wholesale (Register of Buyers who Wholesale)

Individuals and businesses can be registered under more than one category and at more than one address and location if necessary.

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Registration of individuals and businesses must include registration of their address and location. The address and location of individuals and businesses must be inspected and verified before registration can be completed.

Registered individuals and businesses will be issued with documents of registration and identification cards. These documents and identification cards must be shown on demand to businesses, government officials and law enforcement officers.

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It will be a criminal offence for anyone to even attempt to retail or wholesale vegetable produce without being registered and in possession of the relevant documents and identification card. It will also be a criminal offence for anyone to purchase vegetable produce from a retailer or a wholesaler who is not registered and in possession of the relevant documents and identification card.

The type and extent of punishment of offenders under this new legislation is left to the legislators and law courts.

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This type of legislation and its enforcement are similar to the type of legislation and enforcement that serve to register and regulate drivers and motor vehicles.

It is necessary to create and share a database of registered individuals and businesses who are involved in producing, selling and buying vegetables. Prospective and unknown sellers can be checked against the database information. Information on known offenders can also be stored and accessed on this database.

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Drones should be used to increase security of cultivated areas during both day and night. Drones can be fitted with lights and very powerful cameras for easy and accurate detection and video recording of people and other objects. This recorded information can then be passed on to the police.

Enacting into law and enforcing the suggestions offered above will assist our farmers in their attempt to be free of the menace of praedial larceny. Our farmers, our communities and our economy stand to benefit when this happens; let us therefore look forward to the day when the suggestions offered above are written into law and enforced to the benefit of all.

By Edward Fagan