NASSAU, BAHAMAS — In continuation of their partnership, incoming representative for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Mari Dunleavy paid a courtesy call on the Bahamas Development Bank, accompanied by Technical Coordinator Shacara Lightbourne. She was received by Dave Smith, managing director; Troy Sampson, business development manager; and Sumayyah Cargill, unit head, strategic development and initiatives.
The bank is mandated under the Bahamas Development Bank Act, 1974, to promote industrial, agricultural and commercial development through financing and investing in approved enterprises.
IICA is a specialized agricultural agency in the Inter-American System, which provides support to its 34 member states to promote and encourage agricultural and rural development and economic growth. As such, this ongoing partnership meets both the bank’s mandate and IICA’s mission.
The meeting covered a range of topics including opportunities for financing agritourism, climate resilience, opportunities for technology improvement and Family Island development. The bank is building opportunities for tourism into several projects, including the Long Island Small Ruminant Project and Cascarilla Cooperative Financing.
Community-based initiatives — including the Andros Community Cluster Project, where the bank represents as a steering committee member and has committed $350,000 to cluster businesses — were also highlighted.
The Bahamas Development Bank and IICA have a long history of collaboration, having worked together previously on several initiatives, including the Apiary Project on Grand Bahama, which trained and provided financing for young beekeepers and the Grand Bahama beekeeper.
Both institutions committed to supporting another cohort of the Apiary Project. The second cohort will increase the Grand Bahama Beekeepers Cooperative membership and expand opportunities for self-employment on Grand Bahama.