The National, Friday October 11th, 2013
By JUNIOR UKAHA
TWENTY-three inmates at Buimo prison have attended training in a joint agricultural programme between the Buimo Correctional Services and the Taiwanese Trade Mission to PNG (TTM).
Two technical experts from the TTM attached to the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) in Bubia outside Lae voluntarily taught the inmates how to grow food crops using advanced farming techniques.
Baker Tsai and Chia-Hsuan Su had taught the inmates how to plant seeds, nurture plants, use tilling machines, drive tractors and domesticate livestock.
Buimo jail commander Supt Judy Tara expressed satisfaction with the programme.
“This programme is to provide skills to the inmates and at the same time use some of the harvests to supplement their diets,” Tara said.
“We are happy to work with the TTM.”
Tara said the project started in June and the first harvest of mainly sweet corn was made in August.
She said that under the programme, they were clearing a new piece of land for rice-farming.
“We are hoping that if the rice is harvested, we will cut costs on our rations significantly.”
She estimated that about K500 would be saved per meal if they could grow their own rice and supplement the prison population.
Tara said the management spent more than K100,000 monthly to feed the inmates.
The 23 inmates undergoing the programme were selected from the low and medium risk inmate groups.