President Mokgweetsi Masisi says government is committed in supporting the agricultural sector to enhance productivity in order to have a positive impact on the livelihoods of many Batswana through production of quality food.
During a familiarisation tour of Molepolole Prison Farm today (Thursday), Masisi said that it is government’s ambition to achieve food security, improve nutrition and create employment opportunities for the youth.
“It goes without saying that diversifying agricultural production is key. I therefore urge you to explore various sectors of agriculture such as dairy, small stock production, horticulture, and aquaculture in all your prisons country wide.”
The President said that Prisons Services can play a vital role in milk production and processing to address local milk production which falls far short of the national demand. “I am informed of your plans to expand dairy production in Molepolole Prison Farm. I therefore encourage you to optimally utilise available resources to produce enough milk to meet the dietary five requirements of all prisoners incarcerated in Botswana and to venture into production of milk by-products such as yoghurt, butter and cheese.”
He commended the Prisons Services again for continuing to advance their prisoner rehabilitation programmes so that they are in sync with the latest international trends. “I understand, Madam Commissioner that, you are currently engaging the community and other stakeholders in delivering Offender Rehabilitation and Reintegration Programmes. This is a praiseworthy effort and I urge you and your team to keep it up.”
Masisi noted that another encouraging development is the envisaged Lobatse Rehabilitation Centre Project which will be delivered through the Private Public Partnership funding model. “I am informed that negotiations with a prospective Transactional Advisor have been concluded and a contract has been signed.”
He said that through these programmes, they anticipate a successful reintegration of prisoners back into the mainstream society. “With successful reintegration, re-offending will be a thing of the past, thus ensuring a safe and crime free Botswana. This will enable ex-offenders to contribute meaningfully to development of their communities and the country at large.”
Masisi also mentioned that government continues to fund Public Service Initiatives aimed at bringing efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services to Batswana.
He said that in line with the RESET Agenda Priority No 3, of Digitization, a budget of P95 million has been dedicated to the Prisons Services to support their computerization project.
“I am pleased to note that the project is now at implementation stage and it is hoped that its successful completion would bring about efficiency and improve the quality of information within the Service. Let me further urge you to leverage on this type of technology to modernise your farming methods.”
Masisi’s tour came through the invitation of Kagiso Mmusi, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security and was meant to appreciate Botswana Prisons Services’ efforts in driving their mandate of providing safe custodial care to those entrusted to their care and rehabilitating them to become productive and law-abiding members of society after their release from prison.