The Department of Correctional Services welcomed its first crop of birds to our newly constructed broiler units. The broiler units located at the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre were commissioned into service on Thursday, October 22, 2020, by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda. The investment, valued at J$30 million, includes the installation of the broiler units, expertise on design and training. Newport Mills Ltd designed and managed the project, and donated J$ 7 million in goods and services.
The two (2) 4,500 sq ft. broiler houses has a capacity to hold 9,000 birds per flock capacity with the ability to produce 6 flocks annually. The facility comprises a slaughterhouse, bathroom, equipment and medication storage room, refrigeration unit and a feed bin.
The poultry production programme, which is expected to produce 98 tonnes of broiler meat represents approximately 40 per cent of the total inmate consumption p/annum and would see the Department realizing approximate savings of J$13 million annually.
“This is a small project in the grand scheme of things, but it will have a huge and immediate impact,” Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Matthew Samuda, said. “It will save the DCS millions annually, so it is clear that this is not just chicken feed. While the money saved is nothing to scoff at, the rehabilitation of the inmates is one more step in the right direction. The country suffers from a reoffending rate of about 40 per cent, so every effort to improve the quality of our rehabilitation efforts is a step in reducing crime and providing greater citizen security.”
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Nutramix’s Regional Sales Manager, Mr. Winston Thomas, said: “The project comes as an opportunity to give back to Jamaica and make a difference – it is not just about producing meat, but also about the knowledge that will be gained by the inmates. A lot of persons doing poultry farming in Jamaica were never really technically trained, so they lack in knowledge. This programme will provide that knowledge to the inmates so that they can go back into their communities and make a meaningful life for themselves and their families.”
The project is a move towards the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) becoming self-sufficient in food production, while at the same time providing the inmates with technical skills that will help them to reintegrate into society upon their release, as part of the rehabilitation through agriculture programme.