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News : Local Last Updated: Feb 23, 2018 - 12:03:17 AM

Wells wants Bahamians to buy local produce
By Felicity Ingraham
Feb 22, 2018 - 10:48:50 PM

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Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Renward Wells, who is passionate about seeing the Bahamas become a self sufficient nation, has made "an important step" towards that goal by bringing the departments under his ministry and their related entities under one mandate. This, he believes, is vital in order to encourage more Bahamians to engage in farming and fishing for the health and wealth of the nation. 

Since coming to office, Minister Wells took the time to spend engaged at all levels in the various entities, including: Department of Agriculture; Department of Marine Resources; the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI); and Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC). By doing so, he found that it was necessary for these entities to communicate better in order to become more effective.

He wants the process to be efficient and effective to give the industries of agriculture and fisheries a chance to thrive. When all entities are on the same page and are communicating well, ministry officials expect to have even better results.

This goal resulted in a senior managers conclave recently, where top officials from all entities spent a full day on a Saturday determining the best way forward. In addition to discussing their challenges and finding solutions, they were motivated by Darron K. Turnquest, who encouraged all government employees to walk with an attitude of success and take pride in their jobs.

Gabriella Fraser of the Vivian group guided the team through the entire day. The Vivian Group is an independent development, research and policy organisation, devoted to providing clear, comprehensive and thoughtful research, analysis, strategic and development planning, for business, industry, government, and the not-for-profit, non-government sectors.

Minister Wells wants Bahamians to buy local produce as well as their by products to keep money in Bahamian's pockets.  BAIC held it's first Popup Farmer's Market last week Saturday and it will be held again this Saturday with local fresh produce, available at the Gladstone Road Farmers Market from 8am to 3pm.

The Farmer;'s Market is geared towards delivering the weekly supply of fresh produce coming in from Family Island farmers directly to local consumers. BAIC’s Executive Chairman Michael A. Foulkes M.P., wants to enlighten Bahamians about what produce is available on a weekly basis, while providing them at affordable prices.

For the past few Saturdays, the produce sold out within hours. There was a high demand for zucchini and papaya. Produce available included: purple cabbage, tomatoes, zucchini, and papaya – Andros grown; and pumpkin – Eleuthera grown. In addition, shoppers were also able to purchase jams, healthy bars, herbal teas, juices, pepper sauces, fresh coconut, organic eggs, and pastries from other vendors.

To find out more on the Farmer's Market, check out www.baic.gov.bs,

photos by: Aarone Sargent

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