By Edna Mwende
Kitengela GK prison has embarked on an agribusiness venture, a move geared towards cutting spending at the facility and at the same time create new revenue streams.
The prison according to a news report by Business Daily owns 273 acres of land with four acres being dedicated to the new farming programme. The new venture has seen the prison produce a wide range of local vegetables and other indigenous leafy greens, all under drip irrigation with water from boreholes.
The drip irrigation model has ultimately seen wastage of water being reduced by 50 percent and especially given the area experiences a shortfall every so often.
“The drip farming has been a game changer to the facility. The yields are high and the project has proved to be viable and sustainable, the prison’s farm manager,” Sergeant Dennis Gitonga is quoted as saying by the Business Daily.
The local daily also reported that since the prison started the agribusiness venture, the correctional facility which hosts 800 male inmates has been self-sufficient in vegetables and other produce.
Local and small scale traders are the major customers in addition to the prison being able to supply vegetables to Kitengela town and its environs with the surplus produce being supplied to the market after feeding the inmates.
Sergeant Gitonga pointed out in the news report that they are not able to meet market demand as it is too high to cater for both inmates and the public; adding that they will however introduce new vegetables in the near future and they target to till more than 10 acres in the next phase.
The inmates working in the farm as reported by the local daily are usually taken through rigorous training in farming by agriculture extension officers in the region.
A kilogram of onions at the facility retails at Ksh50 and a bunch of indigenous vegetables go for Ksh10.
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