Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) Chairman Dion Smith travelled to Abaco to formally launch the Abaco Agricultural Project with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site just off the Ernest Dean Highway on March 27.
He said “BAIC is committed to taking a bite out of the billion (approximate amount of money spent on importing food to The Bahamas); that we grow what we eat and eat what we grow.”
BAIC has farmland and industrial land available in the Spring City and Norman’s Castle areas in Abaco and Mr. Smith said that it is their “fervent hope that BAIC will have this land laid out in two acre plots as part of our phase one project.”
“There have been many applications to acquire this land for farming of fruits, vegetables, agro-food processing, hydroponics, sisal production, green houses, aquaponics and many livestock initiatives,” he said.
He indicated that in the coming weeks a property management team from BAIC will conduct site inspections and commence groundwork with surveyors and design teams to properly lay out these farming communities.
He said that as a part of the application process interested persons must complete an application form, submit your passport and NIB details and pay the appropriate lease and survey payments.
He invited persons from across Abaco to join BAIC in this “most exciting venture.”
“As we gear up to recommence this agricultural initiative BAIC calls upon the presidents of both farming associations (in Abaco) to guide the local farmers on how to proceed with insuring that a variety of produce are cultivated for a successful agriculture sector in our country,” Mr. Smith said.
He said that while BAIC is encouraging farming for the country’s own consumption, “It is also our desire to have farmers products exported all over the world” and he said it will be necessary for farmers to learn proper record keeping to ensure that they can qualify for exports.
Mr. Smith said that he takes his appointment seriously and wants to see agriculture re-established as the third pillar of the economy in The Bahamas.
“We have much work to do in the development of the family islands and we intend to take our mandate to each and every island to create and develop new industries and employment opportunities for all Bahamians, both locally and abroad,” he said.