Categorized | National News

Misinformation To Blame For Cascarilla Concerns, Says Gray–Minister accuses residents of spreading bad rumours

Member of Parliament for MICAL V. Alfred Gray will attempt to allay the concerns of Acklins residents stemming from the government donating nearly 400 of the island’s cascarilla bark plants to the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Sciences Institute (BAMSI) in North Andros when he visits that island tomorrow, the minister said yesterday.

The agriculture and marine resources minister blamed the reaction of Acklins Islanders to this move on “misinformation.”

Last week it was reported that the government had taken the plants from Acklins to be given to Andros leaving residents of Acklins concerned that their island’s resources were being depleted in order to jumpstart another island’s economy.

While Mr. Gray told reporters that this assertion on the part of the residents is incorrect, he reminded his constituents that this is one Bahamas for all Bahamians.

“Obviously, a little education will tell Acklins people, and I intend to do that on Thursday, that all of The Bahamas belongs to all Bahamians and the fact that the government wants to use a few bark plants as research material for the school in Andros ought never to be personal – it’s one Bahamas,” he said. “The research certainly in my view, if it is successful, will be a way to create a greater yield of the same bark for the people of Acklins because we will be able to show them how to do it and harvest it in a more profitable way.”

Mr. Gray also accused some residents of spreading bad rumours by suggesting that the government is attempting to take their livelihoods from them.

“I am going there on Thursday and I am going to have a meeting with the people of Acklins and try to educate them as to the real reason for the field plants being transferred to Andros to the agricultural marine school,” Mr. Gray said.

He added: “There is no way that I would do anything to hurt Acklins people by any stretch of the imagination and if I didn’t think it would be good for them in the long run, I would be the first to tell the prime minister that I didn’t think it was a good idea, but I know it is a good idea and I supported it.

“So it’s just a matter of educating them to what’s going on and the reason for it.”

The minister explained that 390 plants came from Acklins but half of them died because of poor handling during their uprooting.

The plants are being replanted at the school on a research basis meant to determine whether the plants would grow in the soil conditions on Andros which Mr. Gray said differs from the soil conditions on Acklins.

The Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute is set to open this fall.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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