Ellen Chasokela Herald Reporter
Government has commended the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) farm for contributing to the country’s food security through participating in Government’s Command Agriculture programme.
At a field day hosted at Chikurubi Prison Farm in Goromonzi District yesterday, Mashonaland East Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Apollonia Munzverengwi in a speech read on her behalf by the director in her office, Mr Muchemwa Mugwisi, applauded the ZPCS for using its land productively.
“Chikurubi Prison has over the past couple of farming seasons promoted food security by delivering their Command Agriculture quota to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) as well as providing sufficient food to incarcerated inmates using the surplus grain.
“The prison is a Government institute that was contracted 200 hectares under the Command Agriculture Programme in the 2017/18 summer cropping season and settled their debt despite climatic challenges that prevailed in this particular season.
“The district then experienced a mid-season dry spell which lasted for a full month, high temperatures, termite and fall armyworm were other forces that these farming comrades had to fight formidably, day in day out.
“This good work comes after efficient utilisation of drought mitigation measures that include early land preparation, good variety selection and early planting. Prison farm has contributed a lot in supporting various Governmental plans listed in the Government blueprint and Zim-Asset,” she said
Cde Munzverengwi urged the prison farm management to aim higher and host agricultural shows both at provincial and national level.
“I urge you to secure modern farm implements for efficient framing activities, that is enough tractors, implements and irrigation facilities to reach area planting targets, as well as to enjoy the advantages that irrigation facilities bring about,” she said.
ZPCS farm manager Mr Simbayi Kadyemupambe said the farm feeds at least 6 000 inmates across five prisons in the country.
“We feed inmates from Harare Remand Prison, Chikurubi Female Prison, Chikurubi Maximum, Harare Central and 400 residents from Chikurubi Farm.
“Besides maize, the institute managed to diversify the farming into other activities like soyabeans, cabbages cowpeas, piggery, poultry, dairy, apiculture and horticulture.
An inmate, Mr Chamunorwa Mupangure, said they were happy that people had gathered to see their hard work.