The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) as part of its social responsibility today (Thursday) donated five different varieties of sweet potato slips to the Guyana Prison Service (GPS). The slips will be used to cultivate one acre of farmland at the Mazaruni Prison and another portion of land at Lusignan Prison.
The slips were presented to Ms. Maple Blades, Chief Agricultural Officer of the GPS by NAREI’s Research Assistant, Aretha Peters at Field 17, Mon Repos, where the Institute plants sweet potato and other crops on trial and for multiplication purposes.
According to Ms. Blades, the slips will be cultivated by inmates under the supervision of Officers. The inmates usually tend to the various farms operated by the GPS. This offers them practical knowledge of farming. They are also exposed to theoretical lessons.
Ms. Blades expressed gratitude to NAREI for the donation. “We did not consider approaching no other entity for assistance…We have developed a relationship with NAREI over a number of years…We knew that NAREI was the place to get quality sweet potato slips,” she added.
Peters said that the varieties of sweet potato slips donated are: Professor, Strongman, Vanilla, Coggle and Beauregard. “Once soil conditions are right an acre is likely to produce 9 tons of sweet potatoes,” she assured.
Ms. Aretha Peters, NAREI’s Research Assistant hands over sweet potato slips to Ms. Maple Blades, Agriculture Officer of Guyana Prison Service