Abaco, Bahamas: BAIC executive chairman Edison Key (right) shows China’s Ambassador to The Bahamas Hu Dingxian (centre) and first secretary Tan Jian Abaco crawfish. (BIS photo by Gladstone Thurston)
Marsh Harbour, Abaco – Abaco stands to benefit from assistance in agriculture from the Chinese Government.
“Chinese techniques in agriculture are suitable for The Bahamas and cooperation between our two countries can be mutually beneficial,” said His Excellency Hu Dingxian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to The Bahamas.
Ambassador Hu, first secretary Tan Jian and a team from Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture toured Abaco farmlands on Tuesday.
Hosted by BAIC executive chairman and Member of Parliament for South Abaco Edison Key, Mr Hu was welcomed by the island’s administrators, chief councilors, local government officials and the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.
Ambassador Hu was also taken on a tour of the new Spring City community, the Treasure Cay resort and the proposed sites of the Abaco craft centre, farmers market and industrial park among others.
Mr. Key said, “Mr Hu has expressed great interest in assisting us…helping us to get some of our agricultural projects underway.
“We requested some tractors and maybe this trip will be the means of obtaining some assistance. They have the technology. We can benefit tremendously from what they might have to offer on the technical side.”
In north and south Abaco, BAIC is preparing more than 1,000 acres of its arable land for lease at $25 per acre, per year to Bahamians interested in food production.
“There is a lot of interest in agriculture here,” said Mr Key. “People are really hyped up about the prospects of food production and food security for the country. I believe down the road it will pay great dividends.”
Mr Key took the opportunity to show off the resurrected Spring City community south of Marsh Harbour. It was created during the hey-day of agriculture to accommodate farm workers. When agriculture waned, it fell dormant and started to deteriorate.
With the basic infrastructure already in place, the Government is putting in 100 new homes. It will be further expanded by 88 acres which will provide more than 200 lots.
“That is going to be a tremendous boost for south Abaco,” said Mr Key.