The Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) yesterday received government approval to engage in large-scale farming to generate revenue and feed inmates of the country’s prisons.
Accordingly, it has been directed to submit technical and budgetary proposals for consideration under the Youth in Agriculture Module of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, announced this during a passing-out parade of the last batch of 500 Prison Support Staff (PSS) employed under the Youth in Security Module of the YEA.
In all, 2,000 youth have received five weeks of intensive training, for deployment to various prisons across the country, to assist in ensuring the welfare, rehabilitation and safe custody of prisoners.
Mr. Iddrisu said the GPS would be given the necessary support, including farm equipment, to guarantee food security in the prisons, adding that “if for nothing at all, the youth in agriculture module must be able to provide food to feed prisoners if well managed by the service”.
He said the government intended to upscale the number of PSS from 2,000 to 5,000 with the introduction of the Agriculture Module to address the high unemployment situation in the country.
According to the Minister, the YEA was shifting the focus of financing youth employment interventions from the private sector to engage more public institutions.
“The National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) has received a GH¢10 million grant to provide 5,000 youth with technical and vocational education, while the National Youth Authority and its agencies will benefit from a GH¢5 million grant initiative under the YEA module”.
By Abigail Annoh