BAIC Farmer’s Market programme is more than $150,000 in the red and no one is willing to tell us why!

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BP SPECIAL PUTS QUESTIONS TO MINISTER MICHAEL PINTARD – SATISFY OUR QUESTIONS BELOW AND WE WILL NOT REPEAT OUR CLAIMS THAT SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG WITH FUNDS AT THE FARMER’S MARKET PROGRAMME AT BAIC!!! WATCH THE SILENCE!!!

Michael ‘CrazyboyO’ Pintard and Michael ‘Sweaty Palms’ Foulkes

Nassau – In a bold attempt to come out and defend the operators and systems down at the Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation [BAIC], the department used its paid media arm, the ‘dutty terlet’ aka The Tribune, to refute our report of concerns now unfolding at the corporation.

In a statement issued yesterday, BAIC said, “We wish to emphatically state that the allegation is a bold-faced lie and without any foundation or merit.”

And what were those allegations, which we at BP reported and are prepared to repeat? We stated, “…the Corporation’s Farmer’s Market programme is now more than $150,000 in the red. Thousands are missing and the profit and loss paperwork has failed to be handed over to the Minister for Cabinet.”

For the record, when the Corporation’s Farmer’s Market programme began under this new Minnis-led regime, high profits were being generated. Some weeks as much as $17,000 and $18,000 was being collected at the satellite markets.

In fact, the programme was doing so well the that a decision was made to expand the markets in communities [Bain Town, Fox Hill and in Freetown [Kemp Road], which would allow easier access to fresh produce from farmers to the public at greatly reduced rates.

But we art Bahamas Press, as persons in this town would know, including the “dutty terlet paper”, that are prepared to back up our claims – anywhere and any time! And we repeat that serious shortfalls in the Farmer’s Market programme has occurred.

1) At present there have been no recent profit and loss statements on the Farmer’s Market programme since the beginning of the year. WHY?

2) What is the reason for the failure of accounting in the programme all these many months?

3) Could this be the result of stealing? Or is it the failure of staff to account to the relevant department heads on what is really happening with the funds?

4) Here’s a question the Minister should have told the “Dutty Terlet Paper”: When was the last time he saw a profit and loss statement from the Farmer’s Market programme? And has he received any such statement of Profits and Loss since being assigned to the Ministry Agriculture in the most recent Cabinet Shuffle?

5) Here’s another question a responsible media organization would ask the Minister: Is the Farmer’s Market programme presently profitable and, if not, why not?

6) How about this question: How did Farmer’s Market programme profits moved from an $18,000 profit-per-week operation to what is presently a $150,000 loss to date!? What are the reasons for that?! Could STEALING BE A FACTOR? Someone should answer that!

7) And then maybe the Minister, after supplying the public with the proper accounts of a Profit and Loss statement from the Farmer’s Market programme at BAIC, can tell us what are his plans to stop the haemorrhage in the programme?

8) We have another concern: Who is responsible for producing a Profit and Loss statement weekly for the Farmer’s Market programme at BAIC?

9) Are there any outstanding payments due from BAIC to local growers who supply goods to the Farmer’s Market programme?

10) And if the answer to question #9 is “YES” – what is that dollar value?

11) And we at BP ga ask these final questions – Is it true that Minister Michael “CrazyboyO” Pintard wants the farmers – and not BAIC representatives– to run the Farmer’s Market programme? And, if yes, then why is that the thinking and direction of the Minister? Could it be that he does not trust some now running the programme including its CHAIRMAN?

So what is clear is this: Someone needs to account. Someone needs to answer these questions from Bahamas Press! Someone in the Corporation at BAIC must allay our concerns with what we know to be the case at BAIC’s Farmer’s Market programme.

The programme is some $150,000 in the red and no one is saying why. Is it due to stealing? Answer dat if ya bad!

We report yinner decide!