The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, proceeded with the inauguration of a training farm in aquaponics and hydroponics as well as a solar water drip, today, at the Mauritius Prison Service (MPS) in Beau Bassin. These aim to facilitate women prisoners’ transition and reintegration from prisons into the community. An exhibition on the creative works of the prisoners was also held on the occasion.
Several Ministers, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Ms Amanda Serumaga, the Acting Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jaganaden Rungadoo, and other personalities were also present on the occasion.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth lauded the MPS for embarking on agricultural projects to become self-sufficient while at the same time ensuring the rehabilitation and reintegration of detainees to earn a living once, they reintegrate the society.
The MPS is today fully self-sufficient in food production, stated the Prime Minister. He enumerated several agricultural projects to this end including hydroponics, agricultural and animal farming, water harvesting and compost production. Prime Minister Jugnauth indicated that the realisation of the training farm has been possible with the help of the UNDP. He, therefore, expressed his deepest appreciation to the UNDP for this project as well as several other governmental projects in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in view to make the country become more resilient.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with regard to the work being done by the MPS in the fight against drug trafficking, while highlighting that 11 out of the 61 recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on Drug Trafficking have been fully implemented. He also emphasised that the MPS is making optimum use of latest technologies to control smuggling of drugs. The MPS is already in possession of a full body security scanner body and will acquire additional two full body security scanner body scanners this year, he added. .
In view to stop recidivism and promote offender management practices, it is important for the MPS to review its function in line with international standards and best practices, underlined the Prime Minister. He encouraged the MPS to continue the excellent work and to further build capacity of its personnel to keep pace with the latest technologies and for better service delivery.
For her part, Ms Serumaga reiterated UNDP’s support to the Government of Mauritius in terms of finance, training and expertise to develop human capacity, build resilience, promote gender equality and achieve the SDGs. She lauded the MPS for this initiative to help the reintegration of the women detainees into the society
As for the Acting Commissioner, he stated that the MPS is driven by the objective to become self sufficient, and has embarked on several agricultural farms. The MPS, he pointed out, is self-sufficient in terms of the production of eggs, chicken and bread and produces 25% of its vegetable consumption. The new training farm will help in the rehabilitation of the women detainees as well as enhance the food security at the MPS, he underlined.
He remarked that inmates often face difficulties in securing a job. The MPS in collaboration with the concerned authorities ensures that the detainees receive proper training to prepare them to earn a honest living in society upon their release, he stated.