GIS - October 09, 2012: A model poultry unit, funded under the Marine and Agricultural Resource Programme of the International Fund for Agricultural Development to the tune of Rs 700 000, was launched this morning at the Richelieu Open Prison (ROP). The Commissioner of Prisons and representatives of the Agricultural Research and Development Unit (AREU), AVI Pro Co Ltd and IFAD MARS Programme were present.
The poultry unit has been set up by the Mauritius Prison Service in collaboration with the Ministry of Agro-industry and Food Security. The ROP identified an animal shed and modifications were carried out as per the recommendations of technicians from AREU. The 330 m2 infrastructure comprising two sections, one for rearing of chicks and the other for egg production, can accommodate 2 000 hens.
In his speech, Prisons Commissioner Jean Bruneau recalled that the setting up of the poultry unit is in line with the rehabilitation programme of the Mauritius Prison Service. According to him, the skills that the detainees will acquire will increase their chance of employability on their release and empower them to undertake activities that may help them to come out from the shackles of poverty. He further pointed out that the project also aims to reach self-sufficiency in egg consumption in the prison service.
The Regional Development Manager of AVI Pro Ltd, Mr Robert Soupe, said that this project unit is a laudable initiative that will help the detainees to become good citizens and to integrate the society with dignity. In line with the corporate social responsibility, AVI Pro Ltd has sponsored the project by donating a batch of 1 050 chicks.
Richelieu Open Prison
The ROP is classified as a minimum security prison which accommodates only adult male inmates. The regime is based on self-discipline, self control and development of a sense of responsibility. The training of detainees in agricultural work and animal husbandry as well as vocational and industrial activities has proved beneficial for their own rehabilitation and their eventual reintegration into society upon release.