The Nassau Guardian recently published an online article claiming among our nation’s chief develop-mental goals are food security and drastically cutting our annual food import bill of roughly $1.1 billion. In the words of one former prime minister, “It is time we grow what we can, and only buy what we must.”
Godfrey Eneas, immediate former president of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) argues that our food import bill is chiefly fueled by tourism, an industry which invites and hosts about seven million visitors to The Bahamas annually and generates about $2.58 billion in annual tourism revenues. Now, in March 2019, prime minister Hubert Minnis met with US president Donald Trump and reported, “For every American tourist that enter our shores, eighty cents of every dollar received goes back to the United States…therefore as our tourist market grows, the Florida market likewise grows.”
Since our annual food import bill is roughly $1.1 billion, at 80 cents of every tourist dollar goes back to the United States and 50% of that is used for food import. Instead, what if we invested those funds into local farmers and make them primarily responsible for feeding the nation and the millions of guests to our shores? Thus making Agriculture the true "Bread and Butter" industry for the Bahamas.