Prisons Service ventures into commercial beekeeping

The Ghana Prisons Service is starting a beekeeping project to explore new ventures to support internal revenue sources.
The project is also intended to equip inmates with employable skills that will enable them to establish their own businesses upon their release from custodial sentence.



The service has subsequently begun training 20 prison officers — including eight females — as the nucleus staff of its commercial beekeeping project.

The five-day training focused on how to construct beehives, how to capture and nurse bees, as well as how to produce quality honey and other bee products.

The service has also made materials, including beehives and other protective gears, available to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

High demand



At the opening ceremony of the training programme at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison, the Deputy Director-General of Prisons in charge of Finance and Administration, Ms Josephine Fredua-Agyemang, noted that bee products were in high demand on both the domestic and international markets.

Beekeeping, she said, was an effective job creation venture due to its relatively low cost of production and high returns.

She, however, observed that the area had not been fully exploited in Ghana due to the fear associated with it.

“It is in this regard that this training programme is being organised for officers to equip them with the requisite skills and knowledge to enable them to handle the project effectively and efficiently for desired outcomes and to eliminate the fear associated with beekeeping,” Ms Fredua-Agyemang said.

She appealed to corporate organisations, government institutions, private individuals and other stakeholders for partnership in areas of agriculture to enable the service to execute its mandate.

Products

The Director of Agriculture of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Hanson Adu Awuku, indicated that the importance of beekeeping and the usage of products derived from it could not be downplayed; hence, the decision to embark on the project.



He said the workshop would help build the capacity of the officers to enable them to undertake other lucrative ventures in beekeeping to generate additional income for the prison administration.

Through the project, he said, the service would, in the near future, be able to produce beeswax, lip gloss, hand creams, moisturisers, as well as cosmetics such as eye shadow, eye liner and hair pomades.

Mr Awuku said the agricultural unit of the service would package and market products developed from the project to ensure that the vision materialised.

“It is my expectation that the participants would be fully equipped after this workshop to ensure the success of this project so that it can be replicated at other prison establishments,” he said.


Source: graphiconline

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