#Bahamas, April 19, 2018 – Nassau – Acting Prime Minister the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest said this government’s long-term goal is to drastically reduce the country’s reliance on imports by growing, processing, marketing, and exporting our own food.
“Ultimately and simultaneously, achieving this goal will significantly reduce balance payment, Acting PM Turnquest said at The Bahamas National Agriculture, Agribusiness and Marine Resources Expo opening ceremony at the Gladstone Road Agriculture Complex, Friday, April 13, 2018.
“We want to see farming communities in our country prosper and grow and contribute even more to our national economy.”
He said this government administration has already taken steps to ensure that mailboat operators’ services are upgraded and expanded, because the makeup of the country requires this to move people, goods, and services.
“We are assessing the packing house operations so that you, the farmers and consumers, are beneficiaries of modernized facilities that facilitate the transition of fresh, whole foods from the farms to your tables.”
Acting PM Turnquest said he is happy to announce that the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources is taking steps to streamline its agencies such that responsibilities are properly assigned in compliance with the legal framework.
“I look forward to the improvements that will accrue from our expected advances in product development, research, and technology that will cause us to be able to expand our processing capacity. These are exciting times for anyone who wants to assist our national thrust toward food security.”
He said the theme of the Expo “Together we grow” is an indication of the very real fact that in order for the country to decrease its reliance on imports on food, everyone must work together. “Together, we will increase both the economic returns and employment opportunities for food sovereignty and food. Both of these are indeed matters of national security.”
Acting PM Turnquest said government agencies are collaborating to promote training and skills development. “Our policy guides the conservation, identification, and, where indicated, the exploitation of our marine resources for the benefit of Bahamians.”
He said they are building on the BAMSI model, realigning operations as necessary such that the Bahamian people get value for money. This is essential in an economic environment that is only now realizing a turnaround. “With your help, we took the reins of government with the commitment to transparency.”
Acting PM Turnquest said The Bahamas does not exist alone in the world; and needs its neighbours and global partners to be successful as a small island developing state. “Our actions orient our footing such that we can benefit from international technical and financial cooperation, ensuring economic growth, protection, viability, and sustainability.”
By Llonella Gilbert
Photo caption: Acting Prime Minister Peter Turnquest gave keynote address at the Bahamas National Agriculture, Agribusiness and Marine Resources Expo opening ceremony at the Gladstone Road Agriculture Complex, Friday, April 13, 2018. Mr. Turnquest is pictured touring the expo with Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Renward Wells and Executive Chairman of BAIC, Michael Foulkes.
(BIS Photos/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)