Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Renward Wells said the goal of the ‘Bahamas National Agricultural, Agri-Business and Marine Resources Expo for 2018’ is to expose the nation’s farmers, processors, agribusiness people, craftsmen, artisans and marine business people to the consuming public while at the same time educating our population on the opportunities that exist in farming and fishing in the country. The Bahamas spends more than $1 billion annually on food imports, and Bahamians produce too little of what they consume to be comfortable, Minister Wells said at a press conference announcing plans for Expo 2018 at the Ministry, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. “The mandate of this Ministry and the mission given to me by the Manifesto of my government is to change that balance to the positive, in favor of the Bahamian people.”
He said the expo will connect farmers, fishermen, and processors to educators, to market and to each other. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place Friday, April 13, 2018, at 11:00 am on the grounds of the Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre (GRAC). The theme for Expo 2018 is “Together, We Grow” and it will continue until Sunday, April 15. Minister Wells said this year’s expo promises to be a grand affair with lots of educational platforms/workshops demonstrated throughout. Some of the presentations will include honey production, manufacturing of fruit preserves, bottling of tamarind sauce, operating a successful farming business, manufacturing yogurt, layer management and egg production, canning tomatoes and much more. “Also worthy of mention, for the first time we will have a plant diagnostic clinic spearheaded by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) made available, where farmers can receive a free diagnostic for their plants and recommended treatment.”
The Agriculture Minister explained that certain guidelines will apply as all samples must be sealed in a ziplock bag and deposited at the CARDI booth upon entrance to the expo and the samples will be discarded right there after the diagnosis. Interested persons should contact Alphaeus Forbes of Jacqueline Fox at 328-2700 for further details. Minister Wells noted that this year there will be a live demonstration of meat fabrication involving a licensed butcher. “The purpose of this exercise is to not only show persons what an entire carcass looks like but it will help livestock farmers to identify quality cuts to maximize profits. “Moreover, it will help housewives, chefs, and consumers to identify the best cuts for different cooking methods.” Patrons can also experience the animals, learn about farming techniques that can be applied to their backyard farms, observe and take part in the exciting culinary competition, get to see firsthand the crop field at GRAC which will open during the day for educational tours, and make contact with farmers and instructors. There will also be lots of food to sample and buy as well as entertainment for children and adults.