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Correctional Service expands green initiatives to fight food insecurity

January 12, 2023

The Namibia Correctional Service (NCS) is taking steps to address food insecurity in the country by expanding green initiatives at its various facilities.

According to the Word Food Programme, Namibia imports 80% of its food, a position which research firm Simonis Storm has warned will keep the country susceptible to global food price shocks and exchange rate risks.

Towards the end of last year, about 26% of the country’s population were estimated to be facing high levels of acute food insecurity and required urgent humanitarian assistance.

As part of its contribution towards averting this crisis, NCS has moved to establish the Kaoko-Otavi Correctional Facility, an agricultural irrigation project in the Kunene Region that will cover 250 hectares and aim to contribute to the food security of the country.

"This project is expected to produce crops such as maize, wheat, vegetables, and animal feed. The produce will address the current challenge of insufficient food for both human and animals brought about by the persistent drought in the region," said NCS Commissioner General Raphael Hamunyela.

In addition to the Kaoko-Otavi project, the NCS has other plans for value addition to its produce, poultry establishment, and seed production. These initiatives will also complement the School Feeding Programme, according to Hamunyela.

The NCS boss highlighted the importance of working together to enhance capacity for locals to produce adequate food for the nation.

"I am proud to state that the cooperation between the United Nations World Food Programme and the Namibian Correctional Service has been a step in the right direction," he said at the launch of the integrated food production project at Nedersetting No. 607, a portion of the Hardap Correctional Facility.

The NCS has already established four Hydroponics Projects at four correctional facilities: Gobabis, Oluno, Walvis Bay, and Windhoek Female Correctional Facilities.

Through its partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, the NCS also received a donation of 8 metric tons of wheat seeds, which it plans to plant in the coming season at Divundu, Evaristus Shikongo, and Hardap Correctional Facilities.

In addition, a 10-hectare centre pivot irrigation system, equipped with 42 solar panels, was installed at the Hardap Correctional Facility.

"Although food production is not a key mandate of the NCS, we have identified the need to impart agricultural skills for inmate rehabilitation and reintegration as well as to attain food self-sufficiency, to which the NCS is performing satisfactorily," stressed the Commissioner General.

 

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Last modified on Friday, 13 January 2023 17:45