In Andros, Tackling the Food-Price Problem at the Grassroots


Above: BAIC Executive Chairman Edison Key tours the North Andros High School’s mini-greenhouse with teacher Shivanandah Ackloo (BIS Photo)

By Gladstone Thurston

With food prices an increasing challenge for the Caribbean, a group of students in the Bahamas are working to tackle the problem.

Central Andros High School’s fledgling agricultural program has won the support of two major organizations — the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, and the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation in Agriculture.

“I was very impressed [with the programme],” said BAIC Executive Chairman Edison Key. “If we can see more of these programmes throughout the Bahamas, we would be well on the way to producing young men and women who might be the future food producers for the Bahamas.”

Key, along with Dr Markis Alvarez, the Bahamas representative for the IICA, visited the school’s farm in North Andros last weekend.

The school’s agricultural operations include raising livestock, operating a greenhouse and tilling the land using community instruments and material.

The IICA is the Inter-American System’s agency specializing in the promotion of agriculture and rural life.

The school’s program has been a success in the early going — some students are bringing their farming activities home, along with expressing a desire to raise domestic animals.

“That is the kind of impact we are looking out for, because that is an indication that the students are absorbing the training,” Alvarez said. “How do we sustain the interest of these young people in agriculture?”

BAIC’s own North Andros Agri-industrial Park has been producing a number of crops, including peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, enough to justify the addition of a second greenhouse, which is currently being constructed for mass production to the rest of the country.

“The farmers are doing extremely well,” Key said. “The support we have given them is really paying off high dividends.”

–Bahamas Information Service

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