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Minister Sweeting Travels To FAO Meeting In Ecuador



#TheBahamas, March 31, 2022 – Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Hon. Clay Sweeting is leading a delegation of five persons to Ecuador for the United National Food and Agriculture (FAO) 37th regional conference of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The aim of the conference is to enhance food security initiatives throughout the region.

“During the first two-day sessions, we will have representatives from the Ministry speak to global technical experts on strategies and practices that can be adopted in The Bahamas to benefit the agriculture and marine sectors and another two days where Regional Ministers will share successful country experiences that will benefit the region. At the end of the week, I will have a closed bilateral meeting with the Director-General, Qu Dongyu, to discuss different areas of Agriculture and Marine Resources,” Minister Sweeting said.

“I expect the main topics to be about climate resilient and sustainable agrifood systems and how we can come together as a sector to meet the demand for food security. FAO and supporting partners are working towards transforming the food system to strengthen local food production through improved value chains to reduce food imports, I am confident that during this week we are going to be discussing how we can achieve this.”

The Minister said that officials have been in discussions with the FAO, who has been a valuable partner.

“We’ve had discussions with the FAO on how we can grow the Agricultural sector. They’ve also assisted with hurricane victims in Grand Bahama and Abaco. In the marine sector, they’ve held workshops for fish pots to assist fishermen with getting back on their feet again. They’ve also provided training with apparatus and how they can – as fishermen- use their own products. They are putting together a plan so that we can find ways to feed ourselves not just by modernizing but by also working with farmers through an Agribusiness Incubator to enhance their business skills and increase market linkages, through the National School Feeding Project.”

Minister Sweeting noted that The Bahamas is working to produce a country strategic framework for food production from 2022-2026 that is linked to priorities of the Government.

“The agenda would be to transform the food sector to being sustainable and resilient to climate and economic shocks. We look forward to working with them and they are working along with other countries because that’s how we can beat this food insecurity that we all are facing,” he said.

He added that the Ministry is looking for ways to expand its assistance to farmers.

“We are looking to enhance government’s current assistance to farmers. We also understand that there are farmers that are producing an excessive amount of produce. So, to create added value, we have created some production and food kitchens across the Family Islands to ensure that produce that might have been wasted in previous years will now have added value in jams and jellies or whatever they feel can create a new part of the industry,” Minister Sweeting explained.

“There is a lot of potential in the Ministry and a lot of untapped value and we are hoping that the ministry can facilitate and be the driver of this. The wholesalers are looking for people that are innovative and they are able to transform the industry in various ways. I have spoken to many wholesalers, and they are ready to support, we just have to – as Bahamians, farmers and other persons in the sector- capitalize on all that’s out there.”

Bahamas News

Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, September 19, 2023 – Royal Caribbean is working on a major project, announcing plans to open a new adults-only “escape” Hideaway Beach at its CocoCay private-island destination in The Bahamas, come January 2024.

The “beachfront paradise,” set to be situated at the western side of Perfect Day at CocoCay, behind Thrill Waterpark, will have a private beach and multiple pools with DJ music, 20 private cabanas and several spots for “drinks and bites,” the company says.

Not only that, it will include a “hidden VIP experience.”

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO is of the impression that this will bring a compelling, sought after new way to enjoy a day at its private island.

He said, “Hideaway Beach is a completely new vibe and experience that vacationers are looking for on Perfect Day at CocoCay.”

It is going to be a getaway spot for adults, only 18 or older allowed to enter.

“Everything from its hidden-like location to the exclusive beach and pools to the private cabanas is designed for adults who want a day just for them,” the CEO said.

The space, according to Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President of Private Destination Development, will be able to host between 1,500 and 2,000 guests.

No specific day was provided for the opening.

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Bahamas News

Eleuthera Medical Center Marks 5 Years, Private community clinic ‘grows with the demand’, adds Dental and Dermatology to slate of services



#Eleuthera, The Bahamas, September 19, 2023 – A Family Island clinic that started with a vision to serve the community with the best in private medical care and wellness regardless of a patient’s financial standing celebrated its fifth anniversary this month, announcing new services it said were those most strongly requested by patients.

Eleuthera Medical Center (EMC), the flagship of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems, marked its anniversary adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of medical specialties that includes primary wellness, vision, gynecology and pediatrics. Some services are offered on an ongoing daily basis provided by physicians at one of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems (BWHS) four clinics, others are offered on a rotating basis by visiting medical specialists and associates on a regularly scheduled rotating basis.

“When we opened our doors to this clinic in 2018, we knew there was a need for full-time medical care and especially attention to wellness in Eleuthera,” said EMC and Bahamas Wellness Health Systems founder Dr. Arlington Lightbourne. “But we underestimated how appreciative the community would be that there were always physicians on call, that in the case of an emergency we could respond, that we provided an ambulance and emergency care saving patients from having to be airlifted to Nassau or beyond.”

Lightbourne said the years have not been without challenges.

“For nearly 18 months, we endured COVID, conducting testing outdoors, trying to keep our spirits strong and staff well so they could care for others and yet in a small community like Eleuthera where you know someone in everyone’s family it’s hard not to feel the pain and suffering others feel,” said Dr. Lightbourne. “But we doubled down and said we are here for the long haul and whatever the path is to provide the best in care, to make that care affordable and to improve the wellness of the community overall, that is the journey we are on, and it has been an incredibly rewarding one.”

To support that emphasis on wellness, the clinic located in the settlement of Palmetto Point adjacent to Governors Harbour in the heart of central Eleuthera, offers regularly scheduled lectures and town meetings with a nutritionist and wellness expert who is part of the team. Lightbourne’s interest in well-being stems from his work in Emergency Care at both PMH and Doctors Hospital where the vast number of cases he treated were the result of non-communicable diseases and conditions including heart attacks, high blood pressure and cancer related to lifestyle – poor diet high in fats and low in nutrition and lack of proper physical exercise.

Today, he said he is seeing more interest in preventative care, a sign that Bahamians learned from Covid and its aftermath that wellness matters.

“We have a brighter future ahead of us and I am proud of what we are doing in Eleuthera and our other clinics to make a difference in The Bahamas with careful diagnoses and individual attention to how people conduct their daily lives when it comes to their overall wellness,” said Lightbourne, now the deputy director of the Bahamas Medical Association and an authorized NHI provider.

BHWS also operates clinics in Nassau, Spanish Wells and Lower Bogue.


Photo Caption: The Hon. Clay Sweeting, MP, Central and South Eleuthera, welcomes the Bahamas Wellness Medical Center’s ambulance. He is pictured with Dr. Jessica Moss, Emergency Medicine Specialist and Vice President & Medical Director at Eleuthera Medical Center, and Dr. Arlington Lightbourne, founder of the expanding clinic, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary serving the community by adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of specializations.

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Bahamas News




Coral Harbour Base, 18 September. ‘23 (RBDF): The Royal Bahamas Defence Force was honoured to attend a Day of Celebration at the Mall at Marathon on the occasion of  Brazil’s 201st Day of Independence (7th September, 2023). The occasion also marked a celebration of friendship and unity.

In a remarkable display of cultural exchange and diplomatic ties, Young Officers led by Lieutenant Blair Bethel, joined in the celebration. Against the backdrop of cultural exchange, Brazilian Singer Ellen Oléria held a special musical performance bringing a taste of Brazil’s vibrant culture to The Bahamas. Her performance showcased the infectious rhythms of Portuguese music commemorating their rich history and vibrant culture.

The RBDF, under the leadership of Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond E. King, is dedicated to the meaningful involvement and development of service members as we share the responsibility for accomplishing the Defence Force’s Mandate. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force extends its congratulations to the people of Brazil during this momentous occasion as we look forward to fostering mutual understanding and building a brighter future between The Bahamas and Brazil.

For additional information, kindly reach out to the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at Connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates, and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel.



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