The chain of islands known as the Bahamas, officially called the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, consists of 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. The Bahamian economy is heavily dependent on the tourism and financial services sectors. Agriculture and fisheries sectors account for 5% of both GDP and employment. Despite this, the importance of these sectors to the socioeconomic well-being of the country cannot be ignored.
An estimated 80% ($250 million worth) of the Bahamian food supply continues to be imported. Expansion of the agriculture and fisheries sectors in sustainable, cost effective ways can only assist in the diversification of the local economy and reduce its dependency on imports.
Agricultural production in the Bahamas focuses on four main areas: crops, poultry, livestock and dairy, with most agriculture products consumed domestically.
Action Plan for Agriculture
The government aims to:
- expand food production to reduce imports and generate foreign exchange
- increase foreign investment in beef, pork, fruits and nuts, dairy production, winter vegetables, and mariculture (Shrimp farming)
- develop the Family Islands by increasing imports of machinery, excise taxes on farming and construction and increase the number of farmers and entrepreneurs in the Family Islands
- expand exports and facilitate technology sharing between countries
- make each island self-sufficient in poultry and pork products
- expand production in sweet potatoes, bananas, onion, Irish potatoes and pigeon peas
With regard to land use, agriculture is carried out on small plots throughout the most of the islands with about 1% of the land area cultivated. The government has taken steps to expand and improve agriculture in reserving 182,000 hectares (452,000 acres) exclusively for farming, of which 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) is for fruit farming.
Most of the land earmarked for low-cost agricultural leases are found on Andros, Abaco and Grand Bahama.
Agriculture is done on a small scale, producing mainly for domestic consumption. The most lucrative export is grapefruit, generating US$459,000 in 2010.
The Bahamas archipelago gives it a unique opportunity to diversify its agricultural output.
- Creating more livestock processing quarters on more islands can go a long way in alleviating the pressure on the facility currently available.
- Expansion of agricultural production on the less populous islands can bring added revenue for the expanding economy.
- Expansion of the fisheries subsector is a great opportunity due to close proximity to the intended market, the U.S.
Major Crops for Bahamas include:
- Sugar Cane
- Sweet Potatoes
|No.||Name (Acronym):||Type of Business / Role(s)||Contact Person/ Designation / Postal Address||Contact Information|
|1.||North Cat Island Cooperative Society Limited||AS-F / TM||Evelyn Dean Arthur’s Town, Cat Island P.O. Box SS-6314, Nassau Bahamas||Tel: (242) 354-6071, (242) 393-3691; Fax: (242) 354-6174, (242) 394-5834|
|Octavia Johnson Arthur’s Town, Cat Island||Tel: (242) 302-0700|
|2.||New Providence Livestock and Producers Cooperative Society Limited||AS-F / TM||Lori Roach P.O. Box N-7548, Nassau, Bahamas||Tel: (242) 361-4332; Fax: (242) 341-2226|
|3.||Grand Bahama Farmers Cooperative Society Limited||AS-F / TM||Joan Bowe Secretary P.O. Box F-43145, Freeport, Grand Bahama||Tel: (242) 352-4500; Fax: (242) 352-3905 Email: email@example.com|
|Oscar Campbell Chairman||Tel: (242) 353 4560|
|4.||Abaco Agricultural Cooperative Society Limited||AS-F / TM||C. Lightbourne-Burrows, Secretary Lennie Etienne, Chairman P.O. Box AB-20875, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas||Tel: (242) 367-2292; (242) 577-0033|
|5.||North Abaco Fishing Cooperative Society Ltd||AS-F / TM||Cleola Pinder, Secretary Treasure Cay, Abaco, Bahamas||Tel: (242) 365-2040; Fax: (242) 355-2164 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|6.||Bahamas Cooperative League Limited||NGO / RG||Frank Davis P.O. Box SS-6314, Nassau, Bahamas||Tel: (242) 393-3691; Fax: (242) 393-3700 Email: email@example.com|
|7.||Eleuthera Agricultural Cooperative Society Limited||AS-F / TM||Ian Goodfellow Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas||Tel: (242) 377 5000 Fax: (242) 377 5001|
|Lady Diane Thampson||Tel: (242) 335 5006|
|8.||Fish and Farm Supply Store||Charles Adderley P. O. Box N 3028, Nassau, Bahamas||Tel: (242) 393-2311 Fax: (242) 394 0964|
|9.||Grand Bahamas Credit Union ltd||Brenda Plakkanis PO Box F-43732|
|10.||Cat Island Credit union Ltd||Janet Moncur Eric Moncur General Delivery||Tel: (242) 342 6032 / 6046 Fax: (242) 342 6035|
|11.||Berry islands Cooperative Credit Union Ltd||Mrs. Ina Sturrup, Secretary Norman Bastian, Chairman Bullocks Harbour Berry Islands General Delivery||Tel: (242) 367 8293|
|12.||Abaco Neem||PRV / PS-E||Mr. Nicholas Mlaoulis P.O. Box AB 20317 Marsh Harbour||Tel: (242) 367 4117|
|13.||San Andros citrus||PRV / PS-E||Mr. Linden Gaitor North Andros General Delivery|
|14.||Cascarilla||PRV / PS-E||Leonard Roker P.O. Box N-4437||Tel: (242) 325 7096|