The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) last Thursday donated five different varieties of sweet potato slips to the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) for cultivation at the Mazaruni and Lusignan prisons.
A NAREI press statement said the slips, which comprised the “Professor,” “Strongman,” “Vanilla,” “Coggle” and “Beauregard” varieties, are to be cultivated on a portion of land at the Lusignan Prison and on one acre of farmland at the Mazaruni Prison.
The GPS operates various farms, where inmates of the various prisons are supervised by officers when planting and tending to crops. Due to this, inmates are exposed to the practical aspect of farming along with the theoretical aspect.
The slips were presented to the GPS’ Chief Agricultural Officer Maple Blades at NAREI’s Field 17 in Mon Repos.
The statement quoted Maple Blades as saying, “We did not approach [any] 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.”
NAREI’s Research Assistant Aretha Peters, who handed over the slips, noted that “Once soil conditions are right an acre is likely to produce nine tons of sweet potato.