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Government for commercial farming within prisons

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By Tiyese Monjeza

Government has said it plans to empower prisons to intensify commercial farming to ensure that they generate extra fund for smooth operations.

Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo, said currently prison facilities are only utilising 500 hectares of its arable land due to lack of farm inputs and modern farming machinery.

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He made the remarks on Monday at Malawi Prison Service headquarters in Zomba, when YARA International and Bayer Limited through United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) donated 300 metric tonnes of fertiliser and 1000 kilogrammes of maize seeds valued at K120 million.

Chimwendo said prisons have vast land which if properly utilised would help them be producing extra farm yields.

“We plan to make the department more productive and be able to rake in some money to be addressing some challenges they face. This will be done as we will be providing them with all the resources to boost their production,” Banda said.

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Chief Commissioner of Prisons, Wandika Phiri, said currently prison facilities are forced to buy some maize to cater for over 11,000 inmates in the country’s 30 prison facilities.

“With this timely donation, we plan to increase our production and serve some funds,” Phiri said.

UNODC National Programme Coordinator, Henry Ndindi called on the department to make good use of the items donated.

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