Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

Prisoners to reap benefits of joint DA and DOJ Project

Author: DA Press Office | 27 November 2023

The pilot technology demonstration farms developed by inmates in the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) in Palawan will be ready for harvest next month, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Friday.

Since July, at least 70 inmates, or Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs), were trained in the production of high-value crops and rice through the DA and Department of Justice (DOJ) Reformation Initiative for Sustainable Environment for Food Security or DAxDOJ RISE Project.

The 4.5-hectare demo farm in Iwahig is expected to yield 96.8 metric tons of rice, watermelon, melon, eggplant, tomatoes, red chili pepper, pole sitao, cucumber, okra, squash, patola, ampalaya, and sweet corn in December with an estimated gross income of P7.3 million. Planting season was from August to September.

Proceeds from the farm will be used by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor)  to expand its agricultural development activities by using idle lands to support government’s food security campaign.

The Project’s Phase 1 is being implemented with private sector partners who share government’s vision for sustainable agriculture. They also support the inclusion of PDLs in the value chain as part of rehabilitative justice and make them rise again as they reintegrate back to mainstream society.

Meanwhile, the Project’s Phase 2, covering at least 500 hectares, has already started with the training of 50 PDLs for cashew production. They will use 30 hectares of BuCor land for the project.

The DA Banner Programs committed assistance for the development of 25 hectares of land for corn production; 200 hectares for pasture; 200 hectares for cattle and goat; 40 hectares for rice; one hectare for agri-tourism; and 0.5 hectare for tilapia production.

Through this project, the complementary goals of DA and BuCor on food security and reformation of PDLs, respectively, are being realized.

The DAxDOJ RISE Project was initiated and implemented by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) and the National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP) led by Director Gerald Glenn Panganiban. Launched at BuCor penal colony in Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City, the project is in collaboration with the DA-Regional Field Office in MIMAROPA headed by Director Maria Christine Inting.

The Project is expected to help address various issues and meet key sustainable development goals like social inclusion, climate change adaptation and poverty alleviation. ### (OSEC Comms)

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