"The memorandum of understanding is expected to facilitate the plan to make Nusakambangan Island a cattle farming center to meet the local demand," Director General of Farm and Livestock Health of the Agriculture Ministry I Ketut Diarmita remarked here, Monday.
The cooperation is aimed at optimizing the role of convicts in the maximum security prison to boost livestock production to meet the domestic demand.
Diarmita noted that the local meat demand had continued to increase in line with the rising income of the people. However, only 67 percent of the demand could be met by the local farmers, and the remaining 33 percent was imported.
He expressed hope that the cooperation program would increase livestock production and simultaneously improve the prisoners farming skills.
According to Diarmita, the prisons isolated location and its diversity in livestock feed sources have made Nusakambangan a potential zone for cattle breeding and production.
Meanwhile, Director General of Correctional Facilities I Wayan K Dusak stated that the mentoring program in the prison, with a capacity of 1,200 prisoners, will support the governments food security program.
"We hope that some prisoners would actually become good farmers, and we can see the result in the next six months. The governments program to meet the demand of meat could run well," Dusak stated.
Dusak is also targeting to build cattle farms in prisons in some regions, with a total area of 150,000 hectares.(*)