Bahamas-China agricultural agreement to boost local food production
By Lindsay Thompson
NASSAU, Bahamas (BIS): A Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation has been signed between the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources and China’s Ministry of the Agriculture to boost the production of fruits, vegetables, poultry and marine resources in the country.
The agreement was signed by both parties on Tuesday during the official visit of Hui Liangyu, Vice Premier of China, in a ceremony at the Cabinet Office.
Pictured at the Cabinet Office are Niu Dun, Vice Minister of Agriculture; Hui Liangyu, Vice Premier of the State Council; Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister of the Bahamas; and Larry Cartwright, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources. Standing right is Edison Key, Executive Chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC). (BIS Photo/
Raymond A. Bethel)
“This is undoubtedly a mutually beneficial accord for both countries and we thank the Vice Premier for visiting our country and personally executing this Agreement on behalf of his Government,” said Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Larry Cartwright, who signed on behalf of The Bahamas Government.
“We are pleased that this Memorandum of Understanding is an initiative whereby the technologies involved and the achievements made by China in such wide ranging agricultural areas as poultry production, farming of fruits and vegetables, and agriculture could be transferred to our local environment,” Cartwright said.
“Similarly, by virtue of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding, scientific techniques and information that might be generated here in the Bahamian agricultural sector would be available by way of bilateral exchange mechanisms on the Chinese side,” he said.
The agreement aims at, among other things, boosting the development of crop farming, animal husbandry and fish farming.
The Cooperation priorities include farming of tropical fruits, farming of vegetables, grain crop production (peas, beans and corn), flower production, poultry farming, fish farming (including crab) and processing, food processing, development of rural human resources and other areas of common interests.
The parties will cooperate through the following techniques:
- Exchange of technical study teams in areas of common interest to exchange and learn techniques and managerial experience in crop farming, animal husbandry and fish farming;
- Organisation of meetings, symposiums/seminars or workshops on subjects in related areas to promote the advancement of scientific research and technology for crop farming, animal husbandry and fish farming;
- Organisation of technical training courses on subjects in related areas for the purpose of strengthening the development of rural human resources and promoting the improvement of production techniques in crop farming, animal husbandry and fish farming;
- Exchange of agricultural policies and regulations, market information and transportation technology with particular reference to marine products, managerial experience and scientific/technical data, and the sharing of successful experiences in the area of agricultural development; and any other cooperation techniques agreed to by the parties.
Cartwright said the signing of the Agricultural Agreement reflected the continued deepening of relations between both countries that began with the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1997.
“Tremendous potential for agriculture in The Bahamas rests not only on the amenable climatic conditions that allow for year-round production of a wide-range of farm goods, but also on the vigorous market created by Bahamians consumers and our annual tourist population,” Cartwright said.
He added that a developed and thriving agricultural industry in The Bahamas will contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product by creating significant numbers of employment opportunity for Bahamians and saving valuable foreign exchange in the tourism and banking sectors.
“We have noticed for quite some time now, the tremendous strides that The People’s Republic of China, the most populace nation on the planet, have made in feeding its people. The success that China has made with respect to food security is remarkable and stands as a shinning example for countries around the world,” Cartwright said.