By: Betty Vedrine
Bahamas Information Services
#TheBahamas, June 14, 2022 – With the pressing issue of food sustainability being a top priority for the government, the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs (MOAMRFIA), is aggressively pursuing avenues to bring this objective to fruition. To this end, a partnership has been formed with Volcani International Partnerships (VIP), to launch a Cultivation Centre hub for agricultural production in the country.
The ‘Cultivation Centre’ is designed to promote greater interaction between technocrats and farmers, and will modernize food and agriculture systems in the country. It will comprise a produce exchange, a fish and farm store, and food processing kitchens.
The announcement was made during a press conference held on Monday, 13th June at the Ministry’s headquarters on East Bay Street. VIP is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that works with local partners to bring Israel’s leading agricultural experts and innovations to enhance global food security and economic prosperity. The objective of the $3 million initiative will be to pinpoint challenges and find solutions to accelerate the country’s food systems.
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources & Family Island Affairs, the Hon. Clay Sweeting said that many countries around the world have tapped into Volcani’s expertise.
“As you may know, many countries around the world, have benefited greatly from Volcani’s vast expertise in innovative food production strategies,” he said. “Experts from Volcani have successfully assisted Israel to become one of the world’s leading agricultural centers; and just recently, Africa-based RELEAF and VIP (USA) together announced a letter of understanding which should address African food security challenges with the assistance of Israeli expertise and experience.”
Mr. Sweeting said that VIP is here to share advisory services through innovative soil testing and other technological advances. A team will travel to several islands with Ministry officials to produce a comprehensive report, which the government will use to develop best practices for heightened food production.
The team includes: Dr. Zvi Ron, agricultural economist and technical team leader; Prof. Sheenan Harpaz, an expert in aquaculture, fish nutrition and production; Mr. URI Adler, an expert in horticultural production in greenhouses, shade houses, hydroponics and organic agriculture; Mr. York Zvieli, expert in pest management for horticulture production; Mr. Yair Hada, who will be advising from Israel on poultry production; and Joanne Moore, international development professional and strategic advisor.
Executive Director of Volcani International Partnerships (USA), Ms. Danielle Abraham, said that although Israel and the Bahamas may appear to be very different countries, both countries face similar realities in establishing a thriving agriculture sector.
“Despite what you may have heard, Israel faced great adversity in developing its agricultural sector, because just like The Bahamas, it is not a natural nor easy place to succeed,” she said. “Israel is a tiny country, two-thirds of which is desert; it has a shortage of water resources; it is situated in a difficult neighborhood, where export markets have always been further afield and when it gained independence, it faced serious food insecurity and the population had ration books.”
Yet despite these challenges, she pointed out that in a short time, Israel was able to completely transform its agricultural sector and has emerged as a global leader in agricultural innovation.
During their week-long visit to The Bahamas, the team will travel throughout New Providence, Abaco, Grand Bahama and Eleuthera to assess prospective sites for the Cultivation Centre.
Photo Caption: The Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs is working with Volcani International Partnerships to create a ‘Cultivation Centre’ food production hub in The Bahamas. The announcement was made during a press conference held on Monday, 13th June at the Ministry’s headquarters on East Bay Street. Pictured from left, during a press conference: Dr. Zvi Ron, agricultural economist and technical team leader; Professor Sheenan Harpaz, an expert in aquaculture, fish nutrition and production; Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Phaedra Rahming-Turnquest; Minister Clay Sweeting; Ms. Danielle Abraham, Executive Director, Volcani; Mr. Uri Adler, an expert in horticultural production in greenhouses, shade houses, hydroponics and organic agriculture; Undersecretary, Bridgette Hepburn and Mr. Yoram Zvieli, expert in pest management for horticulture production.
(BIS Photos/Raymond Bethel)
The Bahamas major moves towards Space Tourism
#TheBahamas, February 22, 2024 – Exciting, groundbreaking developments are coming for The Bahamas’ tourism product, as tourists will soon be able to view rocket landings according to the government on Tuesday February 20th, 2024, introducing Space Tourism to the archipelago, making it the only destination of its kind globally.
The government informed this is due to the negotiation and execution of a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with Space Exploration Technologies (Space X).
Space X, headquartered in Hawthorne, is an American spacecraft manufacturer, launch service provider, defense contractor and satellite communications company.
For the landings, reports inform that Space X is finishing up on designs which includes one of the company’s autonomous droneships being the landing station for the rockets, Falcon 9s.
The site will be located east of the Exumas.
The Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, says this is a strategic partnership which will anchor The Bahamas “as a key player in the emerging space tourism industry.”
In continuation, the Ministry also revealed that more exciting developments are coming, that is the creation of an exhibit disabling space travel related hardware and a SpaceX spacesuit.
This will be the only other exhibit outside the US which the ministry expressed will attract many tourists and Bahamian citizens.
Chester Cooper, Tourism, Investments and Aviation Minister, is featured in reports showing great appreciation for working with Space X.
“We are honoured to work with SpaceX to enable their Falcon 9 rockets to safely land on an autonomous droneship within Bahamian waters, helping to continue their rocket reusability efforts,” he maintained.
Additionally, the government, according to Cooper, is prepared to grab at the opportunities that will be presented with these developments such as for economic growth, job creation and education enhancement.
Bahamas Consulate Opens in LA
#Bahamas#LosAngeles, February 19th, 2024 – The Bahamas Consulate General in Los Angeles, United States. officially opened on February 19th, 2024, by Prime Minister Philip Davis, reaffirming the commitment of the Government to protect all Bahamians as well as The Bahamas’ Economic interests and provide consular support for Bahamians on the West Coast of the United States. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.
NBA’s Buddy Hield appointed as Ambassador
#BuddyHield#Bahamas, February 19th, 2024 – Accomplished Bahamian Basketball player Chavano Buddy Hield, has been appointed as Ambassador-at-Large for Sports and Cultural Achievement, by the Davis Administration. This is a major accomplishment recognizing, according to the Office of the Prime Minister, Hield’s outstanding journey from Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama to the NBA as well as his commitment to inspire Bahamians. Prime Minister Philip Davis speaking at his Credential Presentation, expressed great appreciation to Hield. He said “Thank you for being a shining example of what it means to be truly great, both on and off the court. Congratulations Ambassador.”
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