Agricultural Expo Anxiously Awaited

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Officials conduct a a tour of the site of the Ministry of Agriculture’s four-day Bahamas Agricultural, Marine Resources and Agribusiness Expo. Pictured (L-R): Lester Stuart, Barbara Albries, Ria Lightbourne, Kenrica Hepburn, Joyce Treco, Benjamin Rahming, Rena Glinton, Basil Miller, Emerson Major, Charles Gibson, Keith Daley, and Kerian Culmer. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

By: Gladstone Thurston 

NASSAU, Bahamas – Food producers are looking forward with anticipation to the Ministry of Agriculture’s four-day Bahamas Agricultural, Marine Resources and Agribusiness Expo.

Slated for the Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre beginning November 8, it aims to bring together the best the Bahamas has to offer in food production.

Under the theme: Promoting Locally Sustainable Agricultural and Marine Production and Consumption: Strengthening Agribusiness, the expo encompasses the full scope of the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.

“This expo is very much needed,” said Charles Gibson of Diamond Farms on Wednesday. “This is a move in the right direction.”

“It is something that was needed long time,” said Food Technology Sub committee chairperson Keith Daley.

“We can feed ourselves but we need a national development plan towards that endeavour,” added Emerson G. Major who boasts the largest cattle ranch in the Bahamas.

Mr. Major will be among lecturers on animal husbandry.

“It is very important because many of us do not know all of the disciplines and mannerisms of animals,” he said. “As such it will be good for us to attend the expo and avail ourselves of the opportunity to know what is going on pertaining to animals.”

With the right resources, he believes The Bahamas can attain self sufficiency in food in less than 20 years.

“Food production needs to be improved,” he added. “This is why this expo is so necessary so as to enlighten us as to what we need to do as to where we would like to go.”

Added Food Technology chief Mr. Daley, “We try to encourage the industry to produce more and utilize more agricultural raw material, and to tie all that in with that of the tourism sector.

“We attract some 5 million tourists on an annual basis. If we could produce food products that could be utilized by the hotels that would be a major plus.

“We will have presentation corners as part of the expo where persons can come and learn how to do various things related to agricultural development.”

To veteran farmer, Mr. Gibson of Diamond Farms, this is the first time in about twenty years that The Bahamas has had such attention given to agriculture.

“In order to be able to feed ourselves we have to constantly produce food. We could produce much more than we are doing now.

“With this expo we would be able to showcase all the products that could be produced here so the people can see the quality of the Bahamian market,” he said.