By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE INVESTMENTS Minister has confirmed he received a proposal for an ambitious $1.5 billion food production project on Andros, aimed at making the Bahamas self-sufficient.
Khaalis Rolle told Tribune Business on Friday that he had been handed a copy of the proposal, but had not yet had a chance to review it. The project has been submitted by Valdez Campbell, president of Planet vision Holdings, and head of the former Robin Hood retail stores, Sandy Schaefer.
Mr Campbell, who is partnering with Mr Schaefer to re-open the old Robin Hood outlets as Shepherd’s Mart, said the proposal involved a massive project on Andros aimed at eliminating the Bahamas’ reliance on food imports.
“We are going to have livestock which will meet US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval because of the labs we are going to have down there to ensure it meets the standard of global trade,” Mr Campbell said.
“We are going to be trading on the Caribbean market. The Caribbean market is a $200 billion trade market right there. The Bahamas is going to be able to get a piece of that.
“We should be able to generate revenues close to $2 billion per year. We are hoping to put up about 50-100 processing houses.
“Whatever you could find that is going to be purchased in Shepherd’s Mart or any food store, we would be able to produce them on Andros. The project is a five-year project in which we are going to be using $1.5 billion.”
Mr Campbell said he and Mr Schaefer were in talks with the leading global consulting firm, McKinsey, over the project, which he said would provide employment for up to 10,000 Bahamians.