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(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — The St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre has created 30 products, which it is looking to place on the market shortly.
These items, which have received the endorsement of the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, include various sauces, wines, beers, syrups, pudding and porridge mixes, tea, and a lotion and hair conditioner.
Twenty-five members of the correctional centre’s 4-H Club are involved in the manufacturing process under the supervision of correctional officers and members of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.
During a recent tour of the facility, Shaw commended the various stakeholders involved in the initiative. He noted that the project will contribute to the growth of agro-processing in Jamaica.
“We want to develop this as a new industry targeted at several major markets [including] hotels, our local supermarkets, the Caribbean, the diaspora [and] third country markets that are looking for exotic things such as the beers. All of these markets can be systematically targeted. This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. I’m truly excited about it,” Shaw said.
Executive Director, Jamaica 4H Clubs, Dr Ronald Blake, said he is pleased to see the difference the project has made in the lives of inmates.
He hailed the Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the “significant contributions” in the development of the facility’s agro-processing and manufacturing unit, where the products are made.
“What is particularly remarkable about this model is the fact that we have replicated it in all juvenile institutions, and they are also having some of the same opportunities that these inmates here are having,” he said.
Blake noted that the project is helping to rehabilitate and equip the inmates with viable skills, which will ensure that they can be successfully reintegrated into society upon their release.
Correctional Officer, Joel Lilly, told JIS News that in addition to generating income for the correctional facility, the project aims to change the lives of inmates by teaching them lifelong skills in manufacturing and agro-processing.
“We want Jamaicans to support this initiative [by buying the products] because it helps to facilitate rehabilitation. This programme is where inmates learn to be better persons in society. The outward input [from members of the society] will help us to move further and to get more inmates involved in the process,” Lilly said.
He told JIS News that the raw materials are sourced locally, with some items grown on the grounds of the facility. All sauce preparation and fermentation are done at the agro-processing centre.
The 30 items, which will be marketed under the ‘St CACC 4-H Club Quality Products’ brand were showcased at an expo held at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre on June 17 and 18.
They are Peanut Sauce, Apple Sauce, Pineapple Sauce, Vegetable Sauce, Pickled Pepper Sauce, Hot Pepper Sauce, Strawberry Hot Sauce, Peanut Hot Sauce, Chicken B-B-Q Sauce, Peanut and Banana Beer, Potato Beer, Sweet Pepper Beer, Sorrel Beer, Star Fruit Beer, Potato Ketchup, Ruff Back Tonic Wine, Cashew Wine, Fruit Wine, Callaloo Wine, Jackfruit Wine, Tamarind Syrup, Sorrel Syrup, Naseberry Syrup, Papaya Syrup, Breadfruit Pudding Mix, Plantain Porridge Mix, Peanut Porridge Mix, Peanut Leaf Tea, Sweet Potato Body Lotion and Breadfruit Hair Conditioner.