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Bamsi Chief Slams Farmer ‘Nonsense’

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

The Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Sciences Institute (BAMSI) president has dismissed as “nonsense” the notion that Bahamian farmers cannot compete with foreign imports, adding that those who follow good agricultural practices could earn up to $50,000 annually or more.

Godfrey Eneas, addressing a press conference to announce the fourth annual Andros Business Outlook conference, said that virtually all farmers under BAMSI’s associate programme have earned more than $30,000 in the first six months of this year.

    “BAMSI will no doubt be the catalyst for economic growth and development in North Andros. I say that because the Institute having agriculture as one of its main components will be the engine that drives the North Andrso economy,” Mr Eneas said.

“I can safely say that in the not too distant future agriculture will be the main industry in North Andros. It is being demonstrated now through our various programmes, one of which is the associate farmers programme.

“We have identified a number of farmers in North Andros who grow their crops to the standards of the Institute. Virtually all of these farmers have to-date, for the first six months of the year, earned more than $30,000.”

Mr Eneas added: “We are quite confident that agriculture is a sector that can generally enable a farmer who follows good agricultural practices to earn a very decent living, up to $50,000 and above.”

   He said that in the past year more than 100 acres of onions has been cultivated; the largest production of onions for one island. Mr Eneas added that BAMSI has put those $1.7 million worth of onions on the market.

“Next year we will expand our output to probably 300 acres,” said Mr Eneas. “This idea of making the Bahamas self-sufficient is achievable. We have already demonstrated through our commercial tutorial farm that we can put on the Bahamian market products cheaper than the landed price.

“Apart from onions we have demonstrated that with papaya, where we are producing papaya at $0.40 per pound, and are selling them at $0.80. We are making $0.40 profit, and the landed price is $1.21. We are doing the same with bananas.

“This whole notion that Bahamian agriculture is not competitive is nonsense, and it is from that perspective that we know that Andros is going to be the bread basket of the Bahamas.”

    Mr Eneas said the development of the Bahamian agricultural sector could open the door for employment in associated areas such as processing.

“There is going to be an increased demand for processing facilities in North Andros so we can ship a finished product. For too long the Bahamas has been all about fresh produce. There aren’t really any commercial processing facilities,” he added.

    On the educational side, Mr Eneas said BAMSI was looking to take on another 40-50 students, and has signed on to several Memoranda of Understanding for faculty and student exchanges.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 6 months ago

"Godfrey Eneas, addressing a press conference to announce the fourth annual Andros Business Outlook conference, said that virtually all farmers under BAMSI’s associate programme have earned more than $30,000 in the first six months of this year."

This gentleman is so dangerous. What did the farmers earn 30,000 for? Did we get value for money? How much revenue did the goods they produced bring in?

"There is going to be an increased demand for processing facilities in North Andros so we can ship a finished product"

Can we please deport all dim people? These people plan everything backwards and then tell us "we had to", we didn't think of that up front, but we found it was fundamental to our success so budget goes up say...50 million. And he's speaking at a Business Outlook with this nonsense????

And what is up with the reporter not seeing through these nonsensical statements??? Stop writing dictation, you don't need a full investigative piece to say "they were paid 30,000? How much did we earn in return?"

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lucaya 4 years, 6 months ago

So true in the Bahamas we do more reporting, hardly ever investigative journalism, to costly? Imagine the expense associated with ascertaining a degree in journalism, only to be simply a reporter as dictated, sad....

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Chucky 4 years, 6 months ago

Does this guy understand that the products have to be able to be delivered to a store at a competitive price with imported goods. You don't compare cost to produce with end retail price, retail includes the transport, wastage factor, store costs, overheads and profit, etc etc

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 6 months ago

This government funding of BAMSI is not fair to the farmers in GB, Abaco, Eleuthera, Long Island etc ....... when will BAMSI or BAIC create an associated marketing network for other BAHAMIAN farmers other than North Andros ............. Every island can produce crops/meats in its own niche market ....... after all, we are part of The Bahamian economy that wants to assist with self-sufficiency too.

Is BAMSI intended to be a political gimmick or a national sustainable agri-plan???????

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smallbiz 3 years, 10 months ago

I am all for food security but does this sound familiar - BahamasAir. A government run subsidy that doesn't have to balance a budget or worry about running up a 5, 10, 15 million dollar deficit. But don't worry associates are making 30K for six months. Maybe I should close shop and start farming.

Instead of wasting 100 million to build a bunch of shoddy dorms, maybe they should have just invested in the farmers that are already running a business. Instead they are going to directly compete against them....

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