“It is now time to put our ideas into practice by working together on the ground and in the fields”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — In an effort to assist the government of The Bahamas with its goal to increase food production, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China donated 15 greenhouses recently.
The greenhouses, which vary in size, will be distributed on Grand Bahama and throughout the Family Islands.
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting, Parliamentary Secretary Leonardo Lightbourne and Permanent Secretary Joel Lewis were on hand to receive the items.
Sweeting expressed gratitude on behalf of the government of The Bahamas upon receipt of the greenhouses.
“I would like to sincerely thank you for these greenhouses, which speak to our blueprint for change. Agriculture plays a significant role in finding ways to feed ourselves. Big things start small and real change starts with ideas. These greenhouses will definitely play an instrumental role in finding new ways of farming techniques and ideas to feed ourselves,” said Sweeting.
The minister mentioned that agriculture contributes only 0.8 percent of GDP in The Bahamas — a rate he is looking to drastically change.
“I look forward to working with you in the future because it is very important to myself and my ministry that agriculture becomes prominent in our country and where people feel that they can be business-oriented,” he said.
People’s Republic of China Ambassador to The Bahamas Dai Qingli said the embassy is looking forward to continuing to work with the government and furthering the countries’ mutually beneficial cooperation.
“The raging pandemic has highlighted once again the importance of the agricultural sector and the imperativeness of reducing the cost of living for the average Bahamian,” she said.
“I very much support the minister’s objective to make agriculture more appealing to Bahamians and attracting more investment into this vital sector.
“Agriculture has a big potential to be commercially viable, as is shown with our experience with working with your Caribbean neighbors.
“Today’s donation of greenhouses is only a small beginning to what we hope to be a growing agricultural partnership between our countries.
“I’m glad that the minister has just expressed his commitment to working with us.”
The ambassador said the two countries have long been in discussions to further develop the agricultural industry within the Bahamas.
“It is now time to put our ideas into practice by working together on the ground and in the fields,” Dai said.
“I look forward to discussions with the minister to understand his priorities and to see how we can best work with him.”