Categorized | Business, National News

Local Marine Biologist Pushes New Sources Of Revenue

A local marine biologist is keen on developing new sources of revenue for The Bahamas.

In fact, Dr. Vallierre Deleveaux, director of the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) is working on developing aquaponics, a food production system that essentially uses a relatively small area to generate large volumes of produce and fish, which would then be sold.

It is a move Dr. Deleveaux hopes will ultimately lead to a reduction in at least seafood imports.

“Other components are that we can help enhance the export of those products we do produce,” he said.

Dr. Deleveaux is not alone in his push to reduce the country’s reliance on food imports.

The government has been pushing this for years, considering The Bahamas’s staggering annual food import bill.

An estimated $1 billion worth of foods is imported into The Bahamas annually.

“We want to take a portion of that and ensure that it’s used by local Bahamians, said Arnold Dorsett, assistant general manager of the Agricultural Division of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC).

“It’s estimated that we can take $100 million in the first three years, which we’ve broken down into commodities. We have about 18 crops that could be used to expand this local production and directly eliminate some of the products we’re importing. We have about five species of livestock that we can expand the production and again, directly impact the import of almost $50 million worth of meat.”

Dr. Deleveaux and Mr. Dorsett are two of several speakers slated to address the third annual Andros Business Outlook on May 15.

This year’s theme is “Charting a Course for Growth.”

“We want to make a special effort during this conference to show farmers and businessmen alike the area they may want to take on and attack so that they can get some money for their farms and generate some revenue for local production,” Dr. Deleveaux explained.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for farmers in the country where they can expand their production and increase income to their farms.”

Horticulturalist, Dr. Selima Campbell Hauber, who recently launched an organic farm called Field to Fork Community, shared similar sentiments.

She said she is hoping to inspire other producers to look at production from another standpoint.

“As you know in our country – and it’s also a global issue right now – many people are suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension, both of which are directly related to diet and producers. We can play a significant role in not only creating an agriculture revolution but a food revolution, thereby significantly improving our nation’s health,” Dr. Hauber said.

“With the improvement of our health, we can therefore ensure a productive and progressive nation.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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