Categorized | Featured, National News

Indigenous Materials Secure New Platform through BNFC Partnerships with BAIC

The Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) and the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) are partnering on an initiative to create economic opportunities for indigenous material producers during the upcoming Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and the Youth Culture Fest.

The initiative is expected to link scores of Family Island suppliers of local materials like sisal and straw to different companies and groups that will be participating in the two events.

Chairman of the BNFC Paul Major said the 28 companies that are participating in the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Road Fever event have a mandate to incorporate anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent indigenous Bahamians material in their costumes.

He explained that the 25 community and school groups participating in the Youth Culture Fest are also mandated to incorporate 100 percent local native materials in their costumes for the children.

“BAIC is helping us find the various people who supply local materials and introduce them to the various Junkanoo Carnival companies and Youth Culture Fest groups,” said Major. “We want to ensure they don’t have an excuse not to use the raw materials and of course we want to provide economic opportunities for the producers in the Family Islands.”

General Manager of the Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation (BAIC) Troy Sampson said this partnership provides opportunities for artisans the “length and breadth” of The Bahamas.

“With the scope and scale of this Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and Youth Culture Fest, we believe that the opportunities for artisans on New Providence and on the Family Islands will be tremendous,” he said. “The trickle down effect will be far reaching in terms of the economic impact on our country. Even if it is only providing a normal amount there is opportunity for some revenues to be gained by people who didn’t have this opportunity prior.

“So it is important for us to have these kinds of joint ventures where we could add value, lend support and create opportunities.”

Youth Culture Fest Organizer Dr. Ann Higgins explained that the response from suppliers in the Family Islands has been great and that they were already preparing to take on more orders from the groups associated with the BNFC.

Suppliers interested in having their items submitted for selection as asked to contact their local arm of the Bahamas National Craft Association, which will then pass their information to BAIC.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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