Maputo, Mozambique, 15 June – Prisoners at the Mabalane penitentiary, located in Gaza province, southern Mozambique produced 70 tons of rice in the current agricultural campaign, Mozambique’s deputy Justice Minister, Alberto Nkutumula told Macauhub.
Production, which is the first of its kind to be carried out by prisoners, could be bigger next season as the Mabalane penitentiary, as of September, plans to expand its production area to 300 hectares, according to Eduardo Mussanhane, director of the National Prison Service.
During a visit at rice harvest time, on 72 hectares in the Chokué irrigation area, the deputy Justice minister said that the aim was to reduce the prison sector’s financial dependence on the State Budget and provide prisoners with a skill.
Nkutumula said that that this target would likely be achieved in the next five years.
The prison service, according to Nkutumula, also has a cashew tree project on an area of 100 hectares in Itoculo, Monapo district, Nampula province.
Mozambique currently consumes over 600,000 tons of rice per year, but has a production deficit of over 300,000 tons. (macauhub)