JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is hailing the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre on its sustainable farming and rainwater harvesting project.
  • This initiative has been ongoing for over two years through support from the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Pilot Project (J-CCCP).
  • Under the project, inmates are engaged in planting crops such as callaloo, spinach, banana, and peanut, which are used to supplement meals. There is also an agro-processing unit that produces value-added items like beer, wine, sauce, cake mix and lotions.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is hailing the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre on its sustainable farming and rainwater harvesting project.

This initiative has been ongoing for over two years through support from the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Pilot Project (J-CCCP).

Under the project, inmates are engaged in planting crops such as callaloo, spinach, banana, and peanut, which are used to supplement meals. There is also an agro-processing unit that produces value-added items like beer, wine, sauce, cake mix and lotions.

Minister Shaw, who toured the facility in Spanish Town on Tuesday (June 4), said that the project stands as a model, not only for other correctional facilities, but schools and outreach programmes.

“It is an initiative where we are seeing agriculture literally making the facility self-sufficient in the production of vegetables for consumption by the inmates and officers… . It is making our inmates productive in the prime of their lives,” he noted.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw (right), reads the label on a bottle of wine produced at the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre. Looking on are Senior Superintendent in charge of the facility, Herbert McFarlane (left); and Correctional Officer, Joel Lilly. The Minister toured the facility’s farm project on Tuesday (June 4).

 

“What I love about this initiative is that you are giving them [the inmates] an opportunity. You are showing them the way, that when they leave here, they have an opportunity to advance to a productive life outside of prison,” he added.

Minister Shaw said that the project has potential for development and pledged the Ministry’s support in this regard.

He urged the inmates to remain positive. “If, at first, you don’t succeed, try again. Failure is not falling down. Failure is when you fail to get up. Keep on moving. In adversity, there’s always opportunity. You’ve made a mistake and you have come here, used the opportunity now to build you way back out of here,” he said.

Senior Superintendent in charge of the facility, Herbert McFarlane, said the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre is working on commercialising the items under the brand ‘St. CACC 4-H Club Quality Products’.

“This programme is not to showcase, but to empower our inmates, so upon their release, they can live meaningful lives,” he said.

He noted that the facility has already won awards at the annual Denbigh Agricultural Show for the value-added products, and is looking to the export market.

Representatives from the UNDP and the J-CCCP were also present at the tour.