A SUGARCANE farmer has applauded the Fiji Corrections Service for allowing inmates to help him harvest his burnt cane.
Chench Reddy, who owns a 23-acre farm at Waiqele outside Labasa Town, said a group of inmates helped him harvest the burnt cane last week.
Mr Reddy said his sugar cane was burnt by someone last month.
"But with the help of the inmates, I was able to harvest more than 200 tonnes of cane from my farm," he said.
"Only 25 tonnes were not fit to be milled because its sugar content was really low as a result of the fire.
"My farm was burnt down one week before the new crushing season and I still don't know who did it."
Mr Reddy said he reported the matter to police but an officer told him there was no diesel in the police vehicle for them to attend to the report.
"But I am thankful that the inmates showed their interest to help me on my farm and I hope they will continue to assist me in future," said Mr Reddy.
Labasa Corrections Centre supervisor Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) Penisoni Tuapati confirmed that a group of inmates was dispatched to help Mr Reddy harvest his cane last week.
ASP Tuapati said the assistance was part of the Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP) in trying to change the mind-sets and attitudes of inmates.
"Part of the income inmates receive from the activity will be directed to their individual accounts which will be used by them upon release and part of it will be deposited in the YRP account," he said.
Police media officer northern Constable Luke Rawalai said there was no problem with the diesel in the police vehicle as claimed by Mr Reddy.