NASSAU, The Bahamas – At the Opening Ceremony of The Bahamas Agriculture, Marine Resources and Agri-Business Exposition 2016, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works & Urban Development the Hon. Philip Davis said he was heartened to see the issue of food security being placed front and centre as food security is “a critically important pillar upon which our long-term viability as a developing nation rests.”
Speaking Thursday at the Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre to the theme, Progress through Food Security: Our Food, Our Future, Our Bahamas, the Deputy Prime Minister said: “Successive governments have laid the framework to progressing living standards over the years by improving the standard for household incomes, improving access to health professionals and health facilities, diversifying employment opportunities for our citizens, and improving access to education.
“Our collective failing, however, has been the long-term neglect in respect of planning for and adequately financing a plan to grow the idea of food security.”
Encouraged by the display, Mr. Davis insisted: “the linking of tourism to farming and fisheries is critical to our development.”
He noted, “this Government is committed to progressing our Bahamas to food security for our future. That is why we have created Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and closed seasons for the harvesting of crawfish, grouper and stone crab to ensure adequate stocks of species for sustainability. For the same reason, we are being urged to consider conch preservation.
“The quest for food security drives this government to refurbish the system of Packing Houses throughout our Bahamas. For the Packing House system to be viable, we need a healthy food supply.
“Hence, the impetus for the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Resources Scientific Institute (BAMSI), which we have established at North Andros. BAMSI is both a training institute and an incubator for farmers throughout our Bahamas. It is more than a place. It is a brand. It is an ideal. This Government, notwithstanding the chatter of the critics, has invested more in planning and financing for agriculture than any other in the history of The Bahamas. That is not boasting. That is the simple truth.
“For you who participate in shoring up the framework for food security and for you who are in agri-business or are contemplating agri-business, I admonish you to continually renew your energies toward feeding our Bahamas. The survival and development of our nation depends on it.”