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Minister Sweeting Travels To FAO Meeting In Ecuador

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#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.”

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Bahamas as Caribbean top 2024 Spring Destination

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Bahamas#Tourism, February 23rd, 2024 – The Bahamas has been categorized as the most popular Caribbean destination for travel in the upcoming spring season by travel insurance company Squaremouth, in a new report. It was the only Caribbean nation to make the list for the top 10 destinations. The report is derived from travel insurance purchases made through Squaremouth.

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Regional Soldiers head to Jamaica to train for pending Haiti mission

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Rashaed Esson

Staff  Writer

 

#Haiti#KenyaMultinationalForce#CARICOM, February 22nd, 2024 – About 150 Bahamian soldiers are heading to Jamaica within the next one or two weeks for a joint training with Jamaican soldiers, in preparation for the pending Kenya led multinational force mission to Haiti according to Bahamian Defense Chief Commodore, Raymond King, in reports. Soldiers and security forces from Chile and Argentina will also travel to Jamaica for the training.

King informs that Kenya and Haiti are in the process of signing off on an agreement to allow Kenya to lead the force into Haiti, following advice from Kenya’s High Court which recently deemed Kenya’s decision to deploy police officers to the gang run nation as unconstitutional. This agreement includes a formal request for assistance from Haiti, allowing Kenya to legally intervene on the ground.

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Major plans for The Bahamas announced Davis

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Bahamas#Development,February 22nd, 2024 – “Things are changing in The Bahamas,” were the words of Prime Minister Philip Davis as he outlined some of the Government’s plans to improve the nation through a decrease in the cost of living, enhanced security for Bahamians and the expansion of access to opportunities. Davis, who was presenting on February 21st, the Bahamas Mid-Year Review of the fiscal performance for the fiscal year 2023/2024, highlighted a long list of plans for the archipelago.

Here’s the full list stated in Davis’ address :

  • A new energy policy and an expansion of renewable energy, including microgrids, and an emphasis on engaging local Bahamian firms and building local professional capacity; 
  • An expansion of Bahamian ownership in our economy, including support for entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, and an expansion of affordable housing –with hundreds of families moving into new homes by this summer; 
  • A modern and award-winning specialized tourism product, with new investments across our archipelago, and major visibility and branding campaigns in New York, Florida, and the UK;
  • Progress on redeveloping downtown Nassau, long overdue;
  • New commitments to education, including a Parental Engagement Unit; more teacher training, modernizing the curriculum, classroom enhancements, improving school attendance, and using the Renaissance testing results to design individualized support for students; 
  • An expansion of technical and vocational training, including certification at the high school level;
  • An Empower Grand Bahama micro-grant programme for entrepreneurs; $1.5 billion in investments for Grand Bahama in the pipeline; the Beautiful Grand Bahama programme, in which collaboration has led to safer communities; and Collab Grand Bahama, which fosters partnerships between the government and the private sector to bring change and progress to Grand Bahama;
  • Major upgrades to our health infrastructure;
  • More support for our athletes and sports programmes;
  • We’re on track to pave 65 miles of road in New Providence alone this year;
  • Investments in NIB to improve fairness and efficiency;
  • A National School Breakfast pilot programme, which is already giving thousands of our children breakfast in their primary schools, and is ready to expand;
  • New classes, camps, lessons, and programmes at our Urban Renewal Centres;
  • A Youth Guard to strengthen our capacity during national emergencies, and give more young Bahamians a path forward;
  • A Task Force addressing unregulated shantytowns in New Providence and Abaco, with other islands to follow;
  • The selection and training of new immigration officers;
  • Saturation patrols and new investments and collaboration in crime prevention; 
  • A juvenile detention facility;
  • A cadre of officers trained to recognize and manage psychiatric issues;
  • Stronger partnerships and new patrol vessels to secure our nation’s borders; 
  • Major new investments across our Family Islands, including new airports, and road paving in Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Abaco, Long Island; Great Harbour Cay, and Crooked Island;
  • The development of our nation’s blue carbon credits strategy; and
  • A major investment in agriculture and national food security.

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