29th November, 2021
The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to transform the agricultural sector and promote food and nutrition security in the Bahamas. To achieve this, both institutions will undertake joint research and development projects, capacity building initiatives, and the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and technological advances.
CARDI’s Country Representative in the Bahamas, Dr Michele Singh noted that the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, the Honourable Clay Sweeting and the Government of The Bahamas are keen to significantly reduce the country’s 1 billion USD annual food import bill. Through training and the sharing of knowledge, the Institute will work with farmers and small and medium sized agripreneurs in the country to improve their production, quality and standards of their final products.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of global supply chains and local food systems; rebuilding efforts must be focused on countries becoming more self-sufficient, resilient and productive. In The Bahamas the pandemic has impacted the access and availability of fruits and vegetables to large hoteliers with many now seeking alternative sources of produce.
This collaboration between CARDI and SBDC aims to strengthen the local farm systems, commercialize crop production and also raise awareness of the importance of food security and sustainability in the Caribbean. The institutions have already begun discussions on activities supporting the developmental initiatives towards a sustainable agriculture sector. This agreement is challenges parties to find new and innovative ways to rebuild the agricultural sector and sustain productive food systems.
This partnership reiterates the Institute’s commitment to building alliances aimed at transforming Bahamian food systems which support farmers and the agri-business sector to maximize their production potential in a profitable and environmentally sustainable manner.