In an ongoing effort to encourage safe, sustainable food practices, so important now that Bahamians are ranked 6th most obese worldwide, the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) in partnership with H2K Agro just concluded the 3-day Organic Agriculture Workshop (Learning Organic Agriculture by ‘Doing’).
This gave participants a framework for making decisions to improve the quality of fruit and vegetable production. Workshop certificates were issued.
Highlight of the training session: these 60 participants were taken on a field trip to the Poitier and Sinclair chicken farms on Cowpen Rd. According to Manager of BAIC’s Agriculture Division, Arnold Dorsett, these are natural farms growing chickens and organic products.
The farmers studied layers that lay in 26 hours and broilers, which reach maturity in 42 to 47 days. These chickens are raised on natural farms where the feed is additive-free and where “the birds are walking out in range environment, not caged in pens,” Dorsett said.
Key topics included organic farming vs. conventional farming, good agricultural practices; composting, bio-fertilizers & permaculture; best organic products to use on the farm; organic livestock production.
These efforts come at a time when Parliament is debating a compendium of food safety and security bills to protect the health and integrity of the local food chain from diseases and contamination. Specifically, the bills will provide appropriate food safety and food trade measures, protect plant health by preventing the spread of plant diseases and facilitate safe trade in plants and plant products.
These bills are timely since the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) Store in the Levy Building at East Bay St has displayed for sale right now from North Andros onions, bananas, cabbage, tomatoes, papaw, processed products like pepper sauce, banana chips to come.
“Exporting food from North Andros to the world is the aim” says Arnold Forbes, chairman of BAIC.
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Article by Lesley Symonette – ISF Contributing Writer