NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources, and Family Island Affairs is in search of to incentivize farmers to utilize climate-smart technology and boost food security within the country.
The motivation could be made available through the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre. Back in October, greater than 300 people applied for the Sustainable Food Growth Grant that provided as much as $50,000 in funding to food producers comparable to farmers, fishers, and agribusiness practitioners.
Resulting from the overwhelming response, officials saw a necessity to put an emphasis on climate-smart technology funding because it was one of the vital requested in the appliance process.
Climate change technology may be geared towards hydroponics, solar and wind energy, and other innovations that may significantly reduce the price of food production.
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting said the federal government is keen to encourage climate change technology.
“Food security is just not only a buzzword for this administration. By investing in agriculture and fisheries, we’re initiating what we hope could be a trend for a lot of other funding facilities to follow. We consider that Bahamians can grow what we eat, and we’re investing in our people first. We’re providing the seed money and we’re concurrently implementing the infrastructure to support the expansion of this industry,” he said.
He added: “We must incorporate a new approach to an old industry. By encouraging the usage of climate-smart technology in these sectors, businesses can see year-round profits versus seasonal money crops. They’ll construct more efficient and profitable business investments while driving the efforts of sustaining a locally grown market that permits us to achieve and exceed our goal.”
Sweeting added that The Bahamas continues to face a myriad of challenges resulting from the country’s climate.
“We’ve the constant threats of hurricanes that may disrupt our growing capability and we’re challenged by the few millennials and young people occupied with traditional farming methods since it is labour-intensive and unsure,” he said.
“Thankfully, we’ve got talented Bahamians which might be adept to new and emerging technologies, and we’ll proceed to offer a platform for education, research, and opportunities to extend awareness and promote opportunities on this sector.”
SBDC Interim Executive Director Samantha Rolle said this grant is timely, given the give attention to climate change.
“As climate change continues to threaten food production systems globally, The Bahamas have to be quick to pivot and recognize the growing importance of technology in food innovation,” she said.
“Following the successful launch of the Sustainable Food Growth Grant, we saw tremendous public engagement in achieving more sustainable food production, which was encouraging. This extra funding will allow businesses to include client change technology and further support our national efforts to adapt to the adversarial effects of climate change. We’re grateful for the chance to support and advance the agribusiness sector throughout The Bahamas; a possibility that may not be possible without strategic partners comparable to The Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources, and Family Island Affairs.”