From: Betty Vedrine
Bahamas Information Services
#TheBahamas, June 14, 2022 – With the pressing issue of food sustainability being a top priority for the government, the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Island Family Affairs (MOAMRFIA) is actively seeking ways to achieve this goal. To this end, a partnership has been formed with Volcani International Partnerships (VIP), to launch a cultivation center for agricultural production in the country.
The “Culture Center” is designed to promote greater interaction between technocrats and farmers and will modernize the country’s food and agricultural systems. It will include a product exchange, a fish market and a farmer’s store, and food processing kitchens.
The announcement was made at a press conference held on Monday 13e June at the ministry’s headquarters on East Bay Street. VIP is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that works with local partners to bring Israel’s best agricultural experts and innovations to improve global food security and economic prosperity. The goal of the $3 million initiative will be to identify challenges and find solutions to accelerate the country’s food systems.
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Island Family Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting said many countries around the world have called on Volcani’s expertise.
“As you may know, many countries around the world have benefited greatly from Volcani’s extensive expertise in innovative food production strategies,” he said. “Volcani’s experts have successfully helped Israel become one of the world’s leading agricultural centers; and most recently, Africa-based RELEAF and VIP (USA) jointly announced a Letter of Understanding that is expected to address African food security challenges with the help of Israeli expertise and experience.
Mr. Sweeting said VIP is here to share advisory services through innovative soil testing and other technological advancements. A team will travel to several islands with ministry officials to produce a comprehensive report, which the government will use to develop best practices for increased food production.
The team includes: Dr. Zvi Ron, Agricultural Economist and Technical Team Leader; Teacher. Sheenan Harpaz, expert in aquaculture, nutrition and fish production; Mr. URI Adler, expert in horticultural production in greenhouses, shadehouses, hydroponics and organic farming; Mr. York Zvieli, horticultural production pest control expert; Mr. Yair Hada, who will advise Israel on poultry production; and Joanne Moore, international development professional and strategic advisor.
Israel’s Ambassador to the Bahamas and Mexico, Mr. Zvi Tal, who attended virtually, delivered congratulatory remarks and said he was delighted to be involved in facilitating the partnership.
The Executive Director of Volcani International Partnerships (USA), Ms. Danielle Abraham, said that although Israel and the Bahamas may appear to be very different countries, the two countries face similar realities in establishing a thriving agricultural sector.
“Despite what you may have heard, Israel has faced great adversity in developing its agricultural sector because, like the Bahamas, it is not a natural or easy place to be successful,” she said. declared. “Israel is a small country, two-thirds of which is desert; it lacks water resources; it is located in a difficult area, where export markets have always been further away and when it gained independence it faced severe food insecurity and the population had ration books.
Yet despite these challenges, she pointed out that in a short time, Israel was able to completely transform its agricultural sector and establish itself as a world leader in agricultural innovation.
During their week-long visit to the Bahamas, the team will travel through New Providence, Abaco, Grand Bahama and Eleuthera to assess potential cultivation center sites.
Photo caption: The Department of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Island Family Affairs is working with Volcani International Partnerships to establish a “Culture Center” food production center in the Bahamas. The announcement was made at a press conference held Monday, June 13 at the ministry’s headquarters on East Bay Street. Pictured left at a press conference: Dr. Zvi Ron, Agricultural Economist and Technical Team Leader; Professor Sheenan Harpaz, expert in aquaculture, nutrition and fish production; permanent secretary, Ms. Phaedra Rahming-Turnquest; Minister Clay Sweeting; Ms. Danielle Abraham, Managing Director, Volcani; Mr. Uri Adler, expert in horticultural production in greenhouses, shadehouses, hydroponics and organic farming; Undersecretary, Bridgette Hepburn and Mr. Yoram Zvieli, horticultural production pest control expert.
(BIS Photos/Raymond Bethel)