Almost months following our list of questions BAIC Chairman now tell us today farmers were paid!


Pop-Up Farmers Market to Recommence at Gladstone Road Location

BAIC Chairman Michael Foulkes

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Executive Chairman, Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC), Michael Foulkes announced that the Pop-Up Farmers Market will commence again at the Gladstone Road location, Saturday, January 19, 2019.

“We started 2018, with just under 100 active farmers in the program and we were most fortunate, as we ended the year 2018, with about 220 farmers in the program,” Mr. Foulkes said during a press conference at the Corporation’s headquarters Friday, January 18, 2019.

He added that about 73 per cent of all the expenses last year were payments directly to the farmer-partners.

“Every month last year they received a check from BAIC: in total almost $200,000 in 2018. We anticipate that those payments will increase by about $60,000 in 2019. For the most part those would be direct payments to our Family Island farmers and their families.”

The Chairman explained that one farmer in Eleuthera was paid almost $45,000 between January 2018 and December 2018.

He noted that there was a time when the Department of Agriculture paid at most, each Bahamian farmer a subsidy of $9,000 per annum and that was it.  

“In fact, our Family Island farmers are so excited about the Pop-Up Farmers Market and the marketing possibilities of their produce that some have planted winter crop seeds just to supply us in 2019.

“We are undoubtedly increasing the capacity of farming in The Bahamas, directly contributing to our self-sufficiency and most importantly, creating a reliable market for our farmers.”

Mr. Foulkes said it is the Corporation’s plan to continue to Pop-Up in 15 different areas all over New Providence, as it did in 2018, taking the always Bahamian-grown, mostly by Family Island farmers, high quality produce, at affordable prices — directly to neighbourhoods.

He also noted that last year, there was a Pop-Up in Grand Bahama twice, in July and September. This year, Saturday, January 26, 2019, will be the first Pop-Up in Grand Bahama and there are plans to return to Grand Bahama at least once per quarter this year.

“We expect that by the last quarter of the year, the Pop-Up in Grand Bahama will not be owned or operated by BAIC but instead, by a Grand Bahama group. We will only source the produce, thereby doing our part to empower the local community to own and operate the Farmers Market there.”

Mr. Foulkes said there are also plans to continue having Pop-Up Farmers Markets at the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s old Bahamas Academy School on Wulff Road on Sundays.

Stay tuned though BP has some questions for Foulkes. Standby…