The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands and 2,400 cays with an area of 5,358 sq. miles (13,878 sq. km.). The population of 306,611 (2000 census) inhabits only 30 of the islands.
The Bahamas economy is heavily dependent on the services sector inclusive of tourism and finance. Agriculture accounts for only 2.3% of the GDP whereas tourism and finance, combined, account for more than 90% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago’s labor force. Given the high annual tourist arrivals (estimated at 5 million), the country is challenged with an increasing demand for food and an equally high food import bill. The Bahamian population is the 5th most obese in the Caribbean according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and as such predisposes them to increasing risk of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) and childhood obesity; directly related to the consumption of highly processed foods. As part of the country’s economic diversification strategy the government of The Bahamas has indicated its support for the development of the farming and fishing sectors to fuel economic development and improve the quality of life of its population. The areas of growing demand include agri-food sector and the linkages for promoting sustainable food production, as well as increased consumption of locally produced foods.
CARDI Bahamas Overview
Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Strategic Plan 2018-2022
Bahamas will focus on developing intensive crop and livestock systems emphasizing the development of resilient systems and intellectual property rights. Leveraging the strength of the tourist industry, agro-tourism and agri-business development will be a major thrust of CARDI’s work on the islands. Agricultural production in the Bahamas will focus on: Roots and Tubers (Cassava and Sweet Potato), Onions, Corns, Coconut, Hot Peppers, Pigeon Peas, Poultry, Livestock and Small Ruminants. Organic agriculture, gastronomic tourism, value added product development, food safety systems and the generation of market studies to inform industry development will be important components of these programmes.
Download CARDI STRATEGIC PLAN 2018- 2022
Michele D. Singh
Animal Scientist and CARDI Representative,
Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Mobile: (242) 436-3981. Tel: (242) 464-3000/329-1104