The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) is on track to improve its revenue numbers for its pop-up market, its Chairman Bishop Gregory Collie told the media on Friday.
BAIC’s former Chairman Michael Foulkes revealed in January that the corporation generated almost $300,000 from its pop-up markets throughout 2018.
BAIC hailed last year’s success as a turnaround for a corporation that was on “life support” – drowning in debt totaling $3.1 million.
BAIC’s Acting General Manager Debbie Strachan said the interest in growing food for processing has increased. She added that many Bahamians who process food locally use BAIC’s services to get their products prepared, and to the market.
“What we do here at BAIC, we assist the entrepreneurs, so whatever they need with regard to packaging and labelling they all come to us,” she said.
“We have all those persons in the technical area we assist. Many persons in the country who are involved in food processing and food technology, they seek out the assistance of BAIC.”
She added that this increased interest bodes well for the development of the agricultural sector in the country. She said the interest from young people has been “marvelous”.
Collie encouraged Bahamians interested in food processing to seek out BAIC for their fresh products. BAIC held a pop-up market at Elizabeth Estates on Saturday.
“Food processing enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and small business persons who produce various pepper sauces, we encourage you to come early and avail yourselves of natively grown goat pepper,” he said.
Collie added that those in need of pricing, labeling, export, processing and packaging assistance can contact BAIC. He said the corporation also has real estate available with rent below market prices for entrepreneurs who need a place to set up their business.
Over the last two years, the BAIC has successfully completed more than 12 substantive projects on Eleuthera, capitalized at some $2.9 million. An additional 10 projects are approved and are projected to cost $3.6 million.
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