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A two-day convention  is planned  for farmers to discuss the way ahead, according to Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Renward Wells. 

This as the government continues to push to reduce the country’s food import bill of $1 plus billion a year. 

“We are now going to have a two-day conclave, a convention for farmers in the country, where we speak to them about the new scientific kind of production processes that’s available to them whether its green house, hydroponics, aquaponics, all of these things to show that [by] backyard farming, they can produce more from what they currently have,” Wells said.

Minister Wells said there was a disconnect between farmers, fishermen and the government which required a strategic reset. 

“We are only producing eight per cent, if I can double that to 16 per cent, imagine what that means for the economic impact of money staying in the country, even if I could increase it to 20 per cent,” he said.  

“So I see myself as laying the foundation first and then bringing greater efficiency to agriculture and the exact same thing I’m going to do with the fishermen. 

“We’re having a meeting with the fishermen and then in June we’re going to have a two-day convention with the fishermen, so that we can let them know about new techniques,” Wells said.

When asked his ministry’s plans to cut out the middle man when it comes to the importing of food, the minister said they’re dealing with it holistically. 

“I would say that we have foreign labour, we have a vast pool of persons who are here illegally already that we’re going to seek to have to do something with and about how we regularize them. 

“We have a lot of persons in Andros already, who are living in Andros, who are a part of farms, farms that have gone bust, who are still in Andros on some of that land, and the government is looking as to how we deal with that situation in a very holistic and humanitarian kind of way.” 

Minister Wells comments came while a guest on the weekly talk show Nation Building, with host Winston Pinnock.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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