NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Agricultural Development Organization (ADO), a non-profit organization founded only eight months ago, in partnership with The Church Business Farming Group (TCCFG) made up of greater than 300 churches, launched the biggest program within the history of The Bahamas to support community, backyard and church farming.
The initial effort will provide the essential supplies and oversight to begin as much as 500 backyard farms with as many as one other 4,500 to follow inside a yr.
The announcement of the launch got here at a press conference attended by Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Clay Sweeting who called the initiative “a welcome game-changer that has the potential to revive the culture of farming and make an actual difference in our nation’s ability to feed itself.”
The initiative was introduced in principle nearly 4 months ago when ADO presented a check totaling nearly $197,925 to The Church Business Farming Group. Funds have been used to buy supplies, hire full-time staff and start preparations.
“That is an exciting day when, for the primary time in our history, we in The Bahamas are making it possible for 1000’s of backyard farms to be began with none cost to those that wish to farm,” said ADO Executive Chairman Philip Smith.
“We stay up for seeing, within the not-too-distant future, 1000’s and 1000’s of backyard farmers in addition to many community farms and church farms throughout the Bahamas as we plant the seed for greater food security.
“That is the dawning of a new day after we make it possible for 1000’s to experience the enjoyment of growing something from the earth, putting healthy food on the table and lessening The Bahamas’ dependence on imported foods.”
This system might be overseen by Rev. Pat Paul and a team that features 4 full-time staff who will assist with the preparation of soil, planting, irrigation, fertilizing and monitoring. For every new garden, there might be monthly reports accompanied by photos. Kits include tubing, soil, seed trays, liquid fertilizer and seeds. Seedlings were supplied locally by Sinclair Farms.
“We’re here today to plant the seed of an honest lifestyle, to nurture and to reap that which God has allowed us to grow on this beautiful Bahamaland,” said Paul.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of this historic movement restoring a love of agriculture and we’re extremely grateful to ADO Bahamas for making this long-held dream a reality.”
Smith said he realized how critical the necessity to “grow our own” was during COVID when as executive director of the Bahamas Feeding Network, he saw desperation and hunger.
“The extent of hunger and desperation for food, especially for moms or fathers attempting to feed little ones, was almost an excessive amount of to bear,” said Smith.
“I vowed then that whatever I could do to revive the culture of farming and make Bahamians proud once more to till the soil, I’d dedicate my life to. Today is step one in that journey we are going to take together so regardless of what happens in the long run, our people won’t ever again face what they did during COVID with empty cupboards and empty stomachs.”