The Mauritius Prison Service (MPS) will soon start Bio Organic Farming in the Prisons around the island. In this context, the MPS has trained some 12 officers in the various fields pertaining to agriculture with a professional approach so as to grow a culture of self-sufficiency at the MPS.
The Commissioner of Prisons, Mr P. Appadoo, announced on Friday 10 August 2018 during a certification ceremony on Guidelines in Organic Production at the Prison Training School in Beau Bassin. The training is a joint initiative of the MPS and the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) with objective for the prison officers to get an understanding of organic production, practices, principles and benefits as well as organic standards, inspection and certification.
Mr Appadoo lauded the twelve Prison Officers who have successfully completed the training course in Guidelines to Organic Production. He extended his gratitude to FAREI for their unconditional support which he said dates far back and added that the partnership between the two institutions is gradually strengthening through the different projects the MPS is implementing.
The Commissioner of Prisons further pointed out that the MPS has all the resources available in terms of land, manpower and materials and that is why the MPS is encouraging all the Penal Institutions to go towards " Grow your own be self-sufficient". He indicated that this year the MPS has harvested around 37 tons of vegetables in its different prisons. Hence, he called on the Prison Officers to implement their acquired technical know-how and expertise on organic farming in their respective institutions.
Also present on the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer of FAREI, Mr Seelavarn Ganeshan, spoke of the importance of the agricultural sector in Mauritius. He pointed out that Mauritius heavily depend on the importation of food crops highlighting that the country annually imports more than 75% of food crops. He further lauded the MPS for adopting organic farming and stressed that this initiative will provide the institution with higher quality products.
He also expressed his optimism to embark on future projects with the MPS such as in Food Processing and Hydroponics and underlined that FAREI will continue to assist and extend its support to the MPS in the future.
On the occasion, the Acting Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Ravin Lugun highlighted that the MPS participated in the first National Productivity and Quality Convention organised by the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council and received a bronze award in the competition. He made a presentation of the project entitled "Self Sufficiency in Egg Production. The project has enabled the MPS to engage in eggs production thereby saving over one million rupees.