Above: a farm in Andros (BIS Photo/Gladstone Thurston)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Bahamas is “serious about food production,” and intends to secure the link between agriculture and tourism, according to Edison Key, chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation.
“Once the link between agriculture and tourism has been secured, it will provide even more incentives to make agriculture even more attractive to more Bahamians,” said Key, who was speaking at a weekend convention on the subject in Nicholl’s Town, Andros.
Food security is a major focus for the government in the Bahamas, which imports an estimated $500 million worth of food products into the country each year.
Part of the link between agriculture and tourism comes from encouraging more restaurants to offer food sourced locally. That will increase, according to Chef Michael Adderley, president of the Bahamas Culinary Association, as the quality of produce improves.
“Grading and quality are the biggest issues,” Adderley said. “Once farmers can keep them in place, there should be no problem at all with us using their products.”
Courtesy Supermarkets’ Philip Beneby said Bahamian farmers were now paying more attention to the quality of their produce.
“That is a positive turn of events,” he said. “The wheel is in motion.”