INMATES at the Vaturekuka Correction Service will next month harvest three to four tonnes of rice from their 1.3 hectares of farm.
To increase rice production for the Corrections Service in Labasa, the Department of Agriculture yesterday organised a rice field day for inmates aimed at teaching them more about rice farming.
The inmates were also encouraged to continue with the hard work of farming as they would help supply food for inmates at the centre.
Chief guest at the event, divisional social welfare officer northern Josefa Camaivuna told inmates their involvement with the farm was training ground for bigger opportunities at home once released.
"We encourage you inmates to be proactive and take the lead role in rice farming for food security and as a source of income for you and your family.
"We can also vouch inmates if you are committed and focused on rice farming it will minimise recidivism and we believe this is one of the outputs of the Fiji Corrections Service.
"We encourage you inmates when you are discharged from Vaturekuka, do not ever look back but be more resolved and march forward to your future which is engagement in meaningful rice farming if you choose to do so," Mr Camaivuna said.
Corrections supervisor north Penisoni Tuapate said the field day was organised to assist inmates who may want to pursue rice farming when they were released.
"We are working with the Department of Agriculture and they will help the inmates through guidance and technical advice of rice farming to help our inmates continue with the idea even when they are released.
"It is a source of income and it can help our boys support their families as well," Mr Tuapate said.
Principal agricultural officer north John Cox assured inmates of government's support for rice farmers in Vanua Levu.
"We have about $700,000 for rice revitalisation program in the north. We will also buy machines to help farmers with rice farming because of ailing work force in the rice farming industry.
"And the only way out for us is a mechanised approach to help farmers plough the land, plant and harvest with the assistance of machines," Mr Cox said.
He encouraged the inmates to continue with rice farming when released to go home.