Correctional services want farm to feed the nation

17 Dec 2018 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 17 DEC (NAMPA) – The Namibia Correctional Service (NCS) has asked Government to buy it a commercial farm to assist in the attainment of food security in the country.
This request was submitted by NCS boss, Commissioner-General Raphael Hamunyela, when he and his management met President Hage Geingob at State House on Friday.
In his submission, Hamunyela promised Geingob that the NCS has the capacity to feed the nation.
“Your excellency, assist me to get these commercial farms which are productive. We just want to produce food, even to feed the Food Bank,” Hamunyela told Geingob.
The commissioner indicated that he has, in the past, made a similar proposal to both the Safety and Security; and Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare ministers, but to no avail.
At one stage, a fully-equipped farm was available for purchase to the State for N.dollars 20 million, which Hamunyela wanted for the NCS.
“But no one could assist. I tried. It had 500 heads of cattle. All those things were included in the price. It is a big farm and has a borehole in every camp. But I think we could not understand each other to say let us take the farm,” he narrated.
Hamunyela added: “If the farm is N.dollars 20 million, give me the farm, let me (NCS) work for three years and in three years, I will give you your N.dollars 20 million and then you leave my farm (it becomes NCS property).”
At present, the NCS has a population of 4 067 inmates, meaning it has enough manpower to produce food for the nation, he said.
Another request is the removal of the infamous Veterinary Cordon Fence (Red Line) to allow the NCS to distribute meat products south of the line.
“If there was no Red Line, we could feed our people. We have enough pork in Ondangwa, but the line will stop you,” he said.
Currently, the NCS produces food at the Divundu Correctional Facility (crops), Everistus Shikongo Correctional Facility (meat), Hardap Correctional Facility (pork) and Oluno Correctional Facility (pork).
The main purpose of food production is to train offenders in skills they can use after their release, and to attain food self-sufficiency to the extent that the NCS does not have to buy food to feed offenders.