Agriculture, security ministries collaborate to boost agricultural production at Richmond Farm prison

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) said plans are underway for it to join forces with the Ministry of National Security to increase the production of foodstuff at the Richmond Farm Adult Correctional Centre in St Mary.

The ministry said the plans were unveiled yesterday during a tour of the centre led by JC Hutchinson, Minister without portfolio in MICAF and Pearnel Charles Jnr, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security.

According to Hutchinson, the collaborative effort between the two ministries is intended to maximise the use of the over 300-acre property at the medium security facility for the production of tree crops and other produce for consumption at the centre.

A project committee has already been established and has been collecting data and designing a plan of action in order to finalise a Memorandum of Understanding between the two ministries, within another two months.

It is expected that the MICAF, through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will contribute input material such as seedlings, pesticides and fertilisers, in addition to the technical assistance and training it will provide to the agricultural programme.

Superintendent in charge at the Richmond Farm Correctional Facility, Leroy Allen, hailed the agricultural programme as a “welcomed move” and one that will not only facilitate production o, but will enhance the training and rehabilitation programme at Richmond.

Currently, Allen said, crops such as corn, sorrel, plantain and bananas are grown at the facility, while some eight flats (approximately 20 dozen) eggs are produced daily.

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