Minister Gray Launches Agribusiness Expo
More than 150 exhibitors and agri-business stakeholders are scheduled to have booths at the Bahamas National Agricultural, Agribusiness and Marine Resources Expo 2013, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government Alfred Gray announced at a press conference launching the Expo.
“In 2007, there were only 85 booths in participation at the Expo then,” Minister Gray said at the press conference at the Department of Agriculture. “Since then, the Expo has grown exponentially to now include 155 booths, almost twice as many.”
“Since November 2007, this Expo has been dedicated to showcasing the hardworking people in the industry of farming, fishing and, certainly, agribusiness,” Minister Gray stated. “This Expo is expected to highlight the importance that the Government and the people of The Bahamas attach to the agricultural and marine sectors of our economy and to the overall contributions which those sectors make to the development of The Bahamas.”
Minister Gray added that the Expo – slated for March 7-9, 2013, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. – would include schools, farmers, fishermen and other business people and will continue to be a vehicle for attracting and encouraging young people to become involved in those industries.
“We believe that there is hope for The Bahamas and hope for the increased involvement of out people in these various activities,” Minister Gray said.
Minister Gray pointed out that in 2007, 2009 and 2011, National Expos were held at the Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre (GRAC). In 2010, he added, The Bahamas Government determined that the Expos should be held to include Family Island participants.
“Over the years, particularly since 2010, islands such as Abaco, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Long Island, New Providence, North Andros, Mangrove Cay and South Andros participated in the Expo,” Minister Gray said. “This year, it is expected that many more islands will participate and become involved, islands such as San Salvador, Inagua – that have never been a part of it – and Acklins and Crooked Island are expected to be a part of this Expo.”
“The Government attaches great importance to the total involvement of the Family Islands in everything that is national and this Expo is certainly one of those things,” he added.
Minister Gray commended those stakeholders in attendance not only for participation, but also that it shows how interested they are in those sectors of The Bahamas’ economy.
Minister Gray said this year’s Expo 2013 already promises to be the largest ever and he invited those interested to contact members of the organising team, headed by First Assistant Secretary Mr. Telford Mullings, to purchase booth space or for more information.
They can be contacted at 325-7502/9 or 325-3974.
Minister Gray said that the Expo would also result in the growth of “cottage” industries throughout The Bahamas and assist in the country’s development.
“I invite all of the people in Nassau – and those who can come to Nassau – to attend the three days of activities on Gladstone Road,” Minister Gray said. “Once you get to Gladstone Road, you cannot miss it because it will be the biggest thing that has ever happened in The Bahamas on Gladstone Road, during those three days.”
By Eric Rose
Bahamas Information Services