Prison service agriculture programme garners some $27M harvest

The Guyana Prisons Service’s “Grow more campaign” is reaping rewards beyond bountiful harvest. The prisons’ agriculture programme generated an impressive $26,838,650 through crop and meat production for the year 2023, all at market value.

Fresh produce being displayed by some more inmates

The government allocated $5.5 billion through the Ministry of Home Affairs as a landmark move towards boosting inmates’ productivity and employability for reintegration into society.

Large produce that garnered profits for the prison service

 This funding aims at creating a correctional environment that prioritises custodial safety, inmate development by equipping them with skills through the rehabilitation programme, ultimately leading to a reduction in recidivism.

According to the prison service, the initiative has spurred expansion, offering more inmates valuable skills training in farming and animal husbandry. Farming is being done at the New Amsterdam, Mazaruni, Lusignan and Timehri Prisons and include the rearing chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep and cows.

Meat production (Tilapia fish) coming from the Timehri Prison

The economic benefits made by this year’s production extends beyond profits; it represents significant cost savings for the prison service in keeping with government’s broader agenda of food security. Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot is a staunch advocate for the programme’s sustainability and potential. He envisions continued growth and development in the years to come, recognising the programme’s dual success in enhancing both prison finances and inmates’ future.