Farmers to Get $1 Million in Land Preparation
Michael Pintard promises to strengthen food security during the coronavirus crisis
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Michael Pintard said as the question of food security remains on the minds of so many in the wake of the coronavirus, he cautioned against panicking as his ministry is consulting with farmers to determine production until July and is still collecting data to determine food stock.
Pintard said the government is assisting farmers to produce supply for the Bahamian populace. This assistance will surpass $1 million, he said.
“It is the intention of our ministry to assist farmers in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas by providing clearing and preparation of farm land through two allocations which exceed $ 1 million dollars. Through the IDB Dorian facility we have designated $1 million dollars to catalyze agriculture on Abaco and Grand Bahama commencing with extensive land clearing and preparation,” Pintard said.
Pintard said the allocation will assist fifty-nine farmers.
“In the first instance, we have plans to assist nineteen farmers in Grand Bahama and forty on Abaco at a total cost of some $479,600,” he said.
He added that through the regular budgetary allocation, the ministry will utilize funds to clear and prepare lands for farmers in the remainder of the Bahamas, working with the Ministry of Transport and Local Government through island administrators and agriculture staff to accomplish this task.
Pintard said in order to accelerate food production in the country, one of the main focus is “strengthening the production systems of existing farmers through the provision of inputs like seeds, guaranteed prices, feed and animals on all islands with specific emphasis on North Andros, Abaco, Grand Bahama, Cat Island, Exuma and Eleuthera to increase production of targeted crops and livestock.”
Funds are expected to be transferred to Abaco and Grand Bahama beginning this week.