The Commissioner-General of the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS), Raphael Tuhafeni Hamunyela, visited Divundu and Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facilities on 24 and 25 January 2023 respectively.
The purpose of the visit was to assess farm management activities at the aforementioned facilities and also to appreciate farm mechanization in the correctional system.
Divundu and Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facilities are part of the four (4) farms which are producing horticulture and agronomic crops as well as livestock for inmates’ rations in the Namibian Correctional Service. Although, not its key mandate, the NCS identified the need to introduce food production to impart agricultural skills for inmate rehabilitation and reintegration as well as to attain food self-sufficiency, to which the NCS is performing satisfactorily.
During this season, a total of 166.7 hectares, consisting of seven (7) center pivots were planted with maize, 16 hectares under micro-irrigation were planted with vegetables, and 33 hectares were under fruit production at Divundu Correctional Facility.
Meanwhile, Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility had 18.5 hectares planted with yellow maize, 1.5 hectares were under fruit production and 0.5 hectares were planted with vegetables. The facility also has 363 cattle, 242 goats, 152 sheep, and 4 horses.
As of 25 January 2023, there are 1 334.38 tons of maize grains in stock at Divundu Correctional Facility. Once these maize grains are processed into maize meal, they will be enough to supply all correctional institutions and police holding cells that are close to a correctional facility for a period of ± 1 year (March 2023 to February 2024).
There are also 590.68 tons of wheat grains in stock that will be processed into bread flour and this bread flour is enough to supply all correctional institutions and police stations for ±1 year and 4 months (March 2023 to June 2024). There are also 21 tons of yellow maize grains and 3075 kg of Lucerne bales in stock at Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility which is enough to feed the animals until June 2023.
Divundu Correctional Facility supplies all correctional institutions with maize meal, max-a-meal, and bread flour. The facility also supplies maize meal and bread to Divundu, Ndiyona, and Omega Police Stations. Bread flour supplied to correctional facilities is used by inmates to bake their own bread and also distributed to police holding cells close to any of the fourteen correctional facilities.
Meanwhile, Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility supplies beef, oranges, lemons, and nartjies to all correctional institutions. The facility also supplies mutton/chevon to the Lucius Mahoto Correctional Service Training College.
The Commissioner-General expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the two facilities. “I am very impressed with the production of the two facilities, they only communicate challenges and complaints to headquarters but visiting the facilities, I have noticed the progress made in food production and I am proud of that achievement”, satisfied Hamunyela.
General Hamunyela also highlighted some of the future plans; to introduce poultry and pork production at E. Shikongo Correctional Facility.
“We feel as the correctional service that it is also our responsibility to produce more wheat, maize, vegetable and animal fodder not just for offenders but to fight hunger and poverty amongst Namibians”, said Commissioner General.
Further Hamunyela stated that the NCS will continue producing a wide range of agricultural produce to reduce the cost of imprisonment and contribute to national food security and the attainment of Zero hunger by 2030.