Another batch of inmates graduates from Nacocolevu.
05 October, 2009
Inmates at their practical with a staff at the Nacocolevu Research Station.
Another 10 inmates from the prison facilities around the country on Friday October 02 graduated from a two weeks vegetable farming course at the Nacocolevu Research Station in the Sigatoka Valley.
Fiji Prisons and Corrections Services (FPCS) Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua who was at the graduation ceremony told those present that the training was not only about the inmates learning new farming skills, but to change their lives as well.
“At the end of the day, the success of this programme will depend on how the inmates’ lives have changed for the better.
“This is one of the ways to measure how well government funds are utilized.”
Brigadier General Naivalurua said that he had instructed his management and senior officers that they must put in place policy guidelines for the Nacocolevu Training programme that encompasses all facets of the rehabilitation and the Yellow Ribbon Project.
The Commissioner said that inmates that graduate from Nacocolevu will be used in the FPCS gardens and commercialization programme.
This he said will prepare the inmates for life after prison and that is way the selection criteria took into account whether land was readily available to the inmates after being released.
In regards to this the Commissioner said that the FPCS are currently holding talks with the Fijian Affairs Board and the Provincial Councils to source land for the inmates upon their release.
While the course was on vegetable farming skills emphasis was also placed on religious and moralistic living.
The inmates learn about the virtues of Yellow Ribbon Project and had one on one counseling sessions with the FPCS Chaplain.
The training programme was facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture in cooperation with the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM).
TTM Specialist Mr Liao Hung-Chou who was chief guest at the graduation ceremony said that he was impressed at the willingness of the inmates’ attitude to learning new skills and he has tailored the programme to what the inmates are planting at the respective institutes.
The course participants were taught the basic knowledge in producing vegetables and fruits, identify factors influencing vegetable growth, identify and select sites for farming and appreciate commercialise farming.
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