The Bahamas and Jamaica are seeking to forge stronger ties to combat food insecurity, according to Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Hon. Clay Sweeting. Minister Sweeting recently led a delegation to the island nation and paid a momentous courtesy call on Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.
“When I met with the Minister a few days ago, we spoke about how we would like to enhance the Caribbean relationship through CARICOM and how we would deal with Agriculture with one another,” Minister Sweeting explained.
“We have done really well with the fishing industry. So, there are some ways we can collaborate with technology and innovation where we’ve been successful and have a successful conch industry where they have had issues. They have done really well with poultry, and we are looking to be successful in that area as well.”
Minister Charles said that he was very pleased to welcome the delegation and lauded Minister Sweeting’s efforts.
“I think that this has been one of the more constructive meetings that we have had and shows a lot of promise in strengthening the partnership between our jurisdictions. Minister Sweeting has a very clear vision for The Bahamas, which has inspired us and opened a lot of opportunities for The Bahamas because we are going to make sure – from Jamaica’s side – that we do everything to assist The Bahamas in developing the Agricultural sector there,” he said.
“I think that there is going to be a lot of opportunities in the poultry industry, and we are in discussions for the blue economy and the linkages that are required for transportation. That is going to be critical for the sustainability of our sectors and that is just for us to have a different kind of thinking around Agriculture and Fisheries.”
The delegation, which included the Bahamas Agriculture Marine Science Institute (BAMSI), the Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and the Department of Agriculture, also visited poultry conglomerates
Jamaica Broilers and Caribbean Broilers, organizations such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the College of Agriculture Science Education (CASE), the 4H Club and attended the Denbigh Agricultural Industrial Food Show.
Minister Sweeting said he is excited to have further discussions with Jamaican officials. “They’ve done well with organizing their farmers where they have some 250,000 farmers throughout the country, and they are able to connect them and create a successful relationship
with the government and the corporations that fall under the government. We are hoping to replicate that, build upon it and create a successful industry and sub-sector here in The Bahamas,” he said.