With an aim to provide an extra source of income to prisoners in the state, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government in the state has decided to train the inmates in developing crop seeds. According to a report in The Indian Express, if all goes as per plan, inmates in 9 prisons will soon start receiving training in developing crop seeds while prisoners in 12 other jails will learn vermicomposting as a part of an initiative jointly launched by the Prison Department and the Seed Development Corporation and Agriculture Department.
As per the IE report, prisoners with an agriculture background who are serving short-term sentences will be selected for the training. While around 30 prisoners each in 9 jails will learn the skill to develop crop seeds, five each in 12 jails will be given training in vermicomposting.
According to official estimates, one can earn Rs 35,000 per hectare in seed production. This excludes the investment cost.
The IE report said that on September 6, the MD of UP Seed Development, Director of Agriculture Department and ADG Prisons signed an MoU for providing training to the prisoners. Chandra Prakash, ADG (Prisons) said that this will help prisoners learn scientific methods of seed development and vermicomposting.
“The main motive is to make positive and constructive use of the time of inmates, develop their skills, and give them a way to make an earning when they are released,” he said.
Seed Development Corporation MD Santosh Khare said that the training for crop seed development takes only one day’s time as it is not rigorous. He said that the training will be given by agriculture department officials and seed development officials and Seed Certification Department will hold inspections to check the development of seeds. The same will be the case for vermicomposting.
Khare said that prisons will be making fertilisers and pesticides available to the inmates whereas the Seed Development Corporation will provide the foundation seeds. After the certified seeds are ready, Khare said that two quality tests will be done by the officials following which the department will buy them at the current market price. The department will also take the leftover seeds and sell them.
In the case of vermicompost though, the prison will have to sell it on its own.