INMATES from the Ba and Lautoka corrections centres deployed to harvest sugarcane at various parts of the Western Division were given the thumbs up by Corrections Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Ifereimi Vasu.
Speaking to the inmates during a recent tour of farms at Saweni and Drasa in Lautoka and Rarawai in Ba, Lt-Col Vasu encouraged them to work hard for the benefit of the industry.
"We have to support the sugar industry and this is the only way we can help and assist cane farmers, he said. Lt-Col. Vasu added that by helping farmers in their hour of need, as some were unable to entice cane cutters to cut their cane, inmates were helping the industry achieve targets for the benefit of the country and the economy.
Assistant public relations officer west Semesa Uluiviti said close to 80 inmates were involved in cane harvesting across the division this season.
"Thirteen are harvesting at Saweni for a cane farmer, 52 are harvesting for the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji and ten are working for an independent grower at Drasa in Lautoka," he said.
Inmates are being paid up to $15 per tonne and funds raised by the exercise will be given to prisoners upon completion of their respective terms and will assist their families upon release and aid in the reintegration process.