Monday, March 25, 2019
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Bahamas Agricultural & Industrial Corporation (BAIC) has not been as “visible and impactful” as it ought to be, its newly-appointed chairman has admitted, pledging: “We will be stepping up our game.”
Bishop Gregory Collie said BAIC, which serves as the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources’ business arm, is not solely focused on agriculture.
“I think that BAIC over the years has not been as visible and impactful as we ought to be,” he added. “We’re not only involved in agricultural development. As the business arm of the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources we have a greater responsibility to the overall economic development of the country.
“Going forward you will see that we will be stepping up our game in that regard. We hope to provide more training and linkages for persons seeking financing, business plans and other things to ensure that for entrepreneurs who wish to establish a business we will be here for them to get started.
“We’re not only involved or focused on agriculture; we’re multi-faceted. We have at our disposal a very large real estate holding for those who may have the need. We will concentrate all of our efforts and expertise to ensure that we bring about food security and economic development.”
BAIC, in conjunction with the Ministry of Housing and Environment and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), held a farmers market over the weekend.
“We intend to take the market to the various Family Islands. We are on a daily basis searching for markets not only within The Bahamas but outside The Bahamas,” said Bishop Collie.
“We need to get our farmers to produce more. I can tell you that on a Saturday, if you get to the farmers market by 10am-11am, they’re sold out. We can’t get enough produce to keep it going. We’re encouraging our farmers to return to the farm. We need to produce more.”