Bahamas Giving Pineapples a Boost

Above: Arnold Dorsett, Edison Key, Lucayan Tropical Manager Tim Hauber and BAIC GM Benjamin Rahming (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

By Gladstone Thurston

In an effort to boost its pineapple industry, the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation has begun distributing 5,000 tissue-cultured sweet cayenne pineapple slips throughout the country.

“This is an initiative to stimulate the Bahamian pineapple industry by introducing a better variety,” said BAIC Assistant General Manager Arnold Dorsett.

BAIC is headed by South Abaco MP Edison Key.

Of the slips, which were imported and hardened at Nassau’s Lucayan Tropical hydroponics farm, 2,500 have already been sent out to the country’s islands, including Abaco, Andros, Exuma and Eleuthera.

The recipients include major pineapple growers in Eleuthera, Long Island, Crooked Island and Rum Cay, along with the Andros Plant Propagation Centre. Andros is the scene of a major initiative by the BAIC that includes cultivating an agricultural programme in high schools.

“The slips were received in excellent condition,” Dorsett said. “Farmers may set them out right away.”

The particular variety of sweet cayenne tends to be grow larger, lack spiny tops and be sweeter than other pineapple types. This variety is currently imported from Costa Rica and sold in food stores.

“If we could produce them, we would not have to import them,” he said.

BAIC’s next plan is to distribute a series of fruit trees, including mango and avocado. The Caribbean as a region has begun a drive to focus on agriculture, from Andros’ programme to a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging home gardening.

–Bahamas Information Service


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